Ivanka Trump is in the news for tweeting a "Chinese" proverb that apparently has as much to do with China as rigatoni does or the Bossa Nova. China, while amused, wants nothing to do with it.
"Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it."
Really not too bad, considering. If the Chinese didn't pen this gem, well it is on them, perhaps they should have. Not like they haven't had four thousand years to deal with this sort of inscrutability.
But perhaps we can do better. We should have a fake Chinese quote contest and see what shakes out.
How about "Only a fool believes a batshit crazy emperor" or "If you add starch to that collar one more time I am going to start using the Mexican laundry down the street."
There are people who trace bad quotes for a living. The fake Ivanka quote is said by Quote Investigator to first show up around 1903 in a Chicago publication called "The Public." They in turn ascribed it to Puck. Around 1914 pre-eminent bullshit artist Elbert Hubbard had a little run with it and the rest is history.
I had a run in with a fake Chinese quote a few years ago. On a birding site. A local birder from Ramona who shall go nameless let this one fly;
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." Chinese ProverbNice in an adolescent unicorny sort of way but completely fabricated. I wrote her to tell her it was bogus. She never wrote back. Just as well. It has been ascribed from everybody from Lou Holtz to Maya Angelou, its literary antecedent may come from early 19th century England but not China. I admit, China sounds way cooler.
Anybody remember a few years ago when I went a round with this one?
The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.Not attributed to the Chinese but the Japanese this time. Almost the same thing, right? Totally phony. You can see my post-mortem here.