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Ivanka Trump tweets ‘fake’ proverb sparking debate in China

14 June 2018

People in China began tweeting other sayings they thought Ivanka might have meant to use. "'Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.' -Chinese Proverb", Ivanka posted on her Twitter account.

There's just one problem: this is most likely not a Chinese proverb.

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".

Ivanka Trump has been mocked after sharing a quote on Twitter.

On social media site Weibo, some quoted similar sayings that are popular in China, such as: " Don't give advice while watching others playing a chess game".

One person wrote: 'She saw it in a fortune cookie at Panda Express, ' while another added: 'It makes sense, but I still don't know which proverb it is'.

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".

The 36-year-old identified the quote as a "Chinese Proverb", prompting China's online users to collectively scratch their heads. Meanwhile in China, as Ivanka's tweet was doing the rounds, many social media users were baffled, with some apparently calling it a "fake proverb".

This is also not the first time that Trump has come under fire for misquoting something as having a Chinese origin.

Upon further investigation, however, this quote doesn't actually appear to be a Chinese proverb at all.

Maybe next time, she will fact-check herself before she tweets - a lesson we all have to learn at some point.

"That definitely is a falsely attributed proverb", Larry Herzberg, the director of Asian studies at Calvin College and a professor of Chinese language, told ABC News. She is, after all, a top White House adviser, whose job, as is clear by the title, to advise the president of the United States on important matters.

In stepped his daughter though, and she seemed to have a profound take on the meeting, citing a "Chinese proverb" to highlight how historic the summit was.

Ivanka Trump tweets ‘fake’ proverb sparking debate in China