Ivanka Trump's Proverb Leaves Chinese Internet Users Puzzled

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump

"Whilst he was in Singapore for a summit with Kim Jong Un, Ivanka Trump made a decision to offer her support to her father via a tweet, "'Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' - Chinese Proverb".

People on the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo attempted to come up with a list of real Chinese proverbs that might match what Trump was trying to say.

Herzberg, who has written a book on Chinese proverbs, said that the first known reference to this quote comes from an American newspaper article published in 1903.

Ivanka is idolized by many people in China, where she is referred to by the Chinese characters 伊万卡 - pronounced "Yi Wan Ka" - and even described as a "goddess". Only catch? Chinese Twitter users couldn't recognise the "proverb" as one of their own.

Ivanka Trump arrives for an event in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 7, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Some said it could have been "Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game".

But some weren't as helpful, with one asking Ivanka if she found her quote via a fortune cookie.

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.

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According to the New York Times, one website suggested the saying originated in America itself and has been attributed to George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright.

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

Unfortunately for Ivanka, the proverb is apparently not Chinese.

Ever since Ms Trump posted the tweet, the baffled Chinese have been shouting "fake proverb" to get their point across on Twitter. In 2013, she tweeted: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life", a quote she attributed to Confucius.

The internet, predictably, has a lot to say about the tweet.

Clearly alluding to President Trump's critics, Ivanka may have thought she was being quite profound with her choice of quote.

The origins of the supposed "proverb" are hazy and, as it turns out, most certainly not Chinese. She hired a Chinese-speaking nanny to tutor her daughter, Arabella.

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