A photo album I created last year with quotes from the First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan went viral with over 6,400 shares. The advice she gave was controversial, but struck a cord among parents. How did I manage to get it viral? I hacked into a powerful Facebook feature – Facebook parenting groups – and posted it in every parenting group I could find. Within a week I had over 5,000 shares.

Many people have asked me where I found  parenting advice from Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China because if you try to google it, you won’t find it anywhere in English.   This is the story.

My mum sent it to me via Whatsapp in 傳統字 (traditional mandarin) and when I googled it I could only find it on Taiwanese blogs. So I used Google Translate to translate it to 简体字 (simplified Chinese) and found it on Chinese blogs (as early as 2013 and most recently July 2015 but couldn’t find it on any official Chinese press).

The translation was the hard part. Yup. Put it in Google Translate and this is what you get http://deb.bi/ParentingAdvice-GoogleTranslate.

I wanted  a translation that was grammatically correct in English, rather than a literal translation. However, I wanted to keep as close to the Chinese meaning as possible. So I had to use multiple translators, slowly translating one character at a time.

Deciding which character to start the quote with was also hard as the app will only highlight the first character which is why you notice that some quotes have been reorganised. It’s not perfect but it was the best I could do within these constraints.

The Facebook album was been shared over 6,400 times within a week so I guess I didn’t do that bad a job ?.  The IOS app I used is called Notegraphy. It’s lots of fun.   There’s a web and mobile app.

Facebook Peng LiYuan


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