Ivanka Trump's 'Chinese proverb' baffles China

Ivanka Trump Donald

Ivanka Trump Donald

The daughter of the United States president used a Chinese proverb to extend support, saying, "Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it- Chinese Proverb".

"One proverb from Ivanka has exhausted the brain cells of all Chinese internet users", a commenter admitted.

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.

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Soon after the Chinese were on the case, American social media users had grabbed hold of this new meme with delight.

But criticism was more muted, with many people appearing more interested in helpfully trying to guess which actual Chinese idiom she might have meant to use.

Some suggested classic idioms like "A true gentleman should keep silent while watching a chess game".

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

This is not Ms Trump's first apparent misattribution to Chinese lore.

Ms Trump has frequently touted her connection to China and its culture.

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 sounds more legitimate and credible to pronounce a quote coming from the ancient civilization of China", he added. Actually, the saying has been occasionally ascribed to the famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, though there's no evidence of him ever having used it. She then falsely attributed that saying to the Chinese philosopher Confucius.

"Three minutes of googling suggests this is a fake Chinese Proverb". According to the website, a Chicago periodical in 1903 published an article that read in part, "Things move along so rapidly nowadays that people saying: 'It can't be done, ' are always being interrupted by somebody doing it".

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

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