Ivanka Trump Mocked After Quoting 'Chinese Proverb' That Isn't Chinese

  • Ivanka Trump Mocked After Quoting 'Chinese Proverb' That Isn't Chinese

Ivanka Trump Mocked After Quoting 'Chinese Proverb' That Isn't Chinese

"'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' -Chinese Proverb", Ivanka posted on Monday, the night before her father and Kim came together to seek an end to a tense decadesold nuclear stand-off.

Rather than impressed by the tweet, however, users on China's social media sites were puzzled at whether this was a Chinese saying at all.

In just a matter of hours, her tweet was liked by tens of thousands of people, but many were left confused as to why she thought the proverb was Chinese.

But digital sleuths in the USA and China said there is no evidence such a pearl of wisdom originated in China.

Her tweet came on the eve of the day when her father, Donald Trump, met the North Korean leader at Capella Hotel in Singapore's Sentosa Island to hold talks, in a bid to resolve the decades-long nuclear stand-off between the two countries.

Professor of Chinese at Calvin College in Michigan, Larry Herzberg, told The New York Times the 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".

Suggestions included, "A true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game", while another said "If you can do it, do it; if you can't, shut up".

She hired a Chinese-speaking nanny to tutor her daughter.

They also offered some snarky commentary, including one person who said, "Don't mistake something as a Chinese proverb simply because it's written in Chinese characters".

It's not the first time Ivanka Trump has given China credit for an adage.

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".

The quote also has been attributed to Irish author George Bernard Shaw.

The website QuoteInvestigator.com, run by Garson O'Toole, found in 2015 that it may have originated in the United States in the early 1900s as a way of commenting on the innovation of the era.

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