Ivanka Trump's tweet of a 'Chinese proverb' leaves Chinese people confused

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Ivanka Trump left the Chinese baffled on Monday when she tweeted what she labeled a "Chinese proverb"- one that the Chinese weren't too familiar with, The Washington Post reported.

"'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' - Chinese Proverb", the first daughter wrote in a tweet that quickly went viral for apparently being fake. A pseudo-Confucian version was fabricated in 1962 - perhaps explaining why Ms Trump believed it was a Chinese proverb.

Quote Investigator, an internet website that looks at the origin of quotations, says the expression might have evolved from a comment in a periodical based in Chicago, Illinois, at the turn of the 20th century.

But seconds later, the social media community started to point out there was little evidence to suggest the saying originated in China, reports the New York Times.

Larry Herzberg, a professor of Chinese at Calvin College in MI, said Ivanka's tweet was "yet one more example of Americans ascribing a quote to the Chinese, often to Confucius, when they don't really know the origin of the saying".

The first daughter and senior presidential adviser sent off what seemed to be a note of encouragement as her dad sat down in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The quote Ivanka invoked on Tuesday has also been attributed to non-Chinese sages like George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright.

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"Our editor really can't think of exactly which proverb this is".

On Twitter itself, several users panned her for writing a "fake" Chinese proverb and called her out for the quote.

Michael Li wrote, "For the record, this is not a Chinese proverb but a piece of "mysterious East" wisdom made up by Westerners".

"She must have read it in a fortune cookie from Panda Express", a Weibo user wrote.

Bill Kristol, editor of USA political magazine The Weekly Standard, tweeted that the phrase "seems in fact to be American from the turn of the 20th century".

"But why are Trump WH (White House) aides giving our proverbs to China, increasing our proverb deficit?" he quipped.

She also wrongly attributed a quote to Albert Einstein in July previous year, writing: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts".

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