Ivanka Trump mocked for sharing ‘Chinese proverb’ that isn’t actually Chinese

A tweet posted to Ivanka Trump's Twitter account

A tweet posted to Ivanka Trump's Twitter account

Ivanka Trump lit up social media on Monday after tweeting a piece of wisdom she attributed as an ancient Chinese saying: "Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it".

But members of the popular Chinese social network Weibo couldn't determine what proverb she was quoting.

Roberts' colleague Chen Gao, a senior Chinese language lecturer, also told The Independent: "Many Chinese started joking about their own Chinese language skills, because they can't think of any old sayings with the English equivalents", she said.

In China, as the tweet made the rounds, many people were baffled, with some calling it a "fake proverb".

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".

Eventually, the Global Times actually sourced the quote to a 1903 news article, declaring that "the phrase quoted by Ivanka has actually no relation to China". Others suggested, "Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game", "Don't force others to do things you don't want to do yourself" and "It's better to knit a fishnet instead of standing by the river and hoping for fish".

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

Ronny Chieng, a correspondent on The Daily Show, tweeted, "This is NOT a Chinese idiom", and he's not the only one to call out Trump on her quote.

China's social media has been abuzz with debate over the origin of the quote, screenshots of which have been widely shared among users on mainland China since Tuesday.

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts", she wrote, attributing the quote to Einstein, before quickly being informed by other Twitter users that this was not an Einstein quote.

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

Some internet users mocked Ivanka for her tweet.

A day later, even Ivanka Trump appeared to acknowledge the misattribution in a different tweet.

Instead, it sparked a backlash from Twitter users who ridiculed Ivanka for her apparent lack of cultural awareness.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.