Chinese logograms (which I guess is what you're thinking of) don't really quite have a word-symbol equivalence. You could compare them to the prefixes and suffixes (often stolen from Latin or Greek) which are used to coin some new words in English, e.g. take television, it's one English word, but there are two meaningful components, "tele" and "vision". Most Chinese words are made up of more than one logogram*. As in English, sometimes the resulting word assembled in this way takes on a meaning very different from the literal reading of the component parts.
When importing words from other languages to Chinese a phonetic transliteration is often used, where the characters are chosen based on how they sound, rather than what they mean. The beverage "Coca-cola" is represented 可口可乐. Visually this could also be a short phrase, but no literate Chinese person would make that mistake.
[Grr, LWN previews seem to be broken for Unicode input, the above is U+53EF U+53E3 U+53EF U+4E50]
* And the logograms are themselves often made up of several components, which were originally, thousands of years ago, pictures directly representing ideas or objects.