Translation:An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
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A simple Google search reveals that the Chinese wording here only shows up in reference to this Duo forum page and no where else
The actual Chinese phrase that hits is
一天一个苹果、医生远离我, which as a proverb doesn't even appear in my Mando dictionary app unlike other very common Mando proverbs
As some commenter mentioned below,
yao4 bu3 bu4 ru2 shi2 bu3
"The benefits of medicine are not as great as those of good nutrition"
"Let food be thy medicine,
and medicine be thy food."
has a similar meaning, is a native Mando proverb and appears in Mando dictionary apps
That's a Chinese saying (and a rhyming couplet) that means "in the Winter, eat luobo (a root vegetable, like a "daikon radish"); in the Summer, eat ginger; you will need no doctor to write a prescription." The underlying meaning of this expression is the same as the underlying meaning of "an apple a day keeps the doctor away:" both expressions mean that eating good, wholesome food will help you to stay healthy.
Even though eating apples had been considered good for one's health for centuries, the adage in the form listed here came into being in the early twentieth century in the US. Apples had, up until that time, been used primarily for making hard cider. When prohibition threatened to take away the livelihood of apple growers, a bit of marketing using this slogan bolstered their sales.
Yes, we know the English proverb, but the sentence does not literally translate to "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." This is misleading. Literally it is something like "An apple (each) day, the doctor is not (with, near, living with) you." Non-native English speakers will not know this. proverb.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" for those who are not in native English speaking countries is a very well-known proverb. I would call this Chinese sentence an attempt at making the equivalent point. It is not a direct, or even a very close translation. Translating proverbs and aphorisms is very difficult.
Yeah if there was a consistent policy about whether or not phrases should be translated literally or interpreted culturally I might forgive them for this. But it's just a stupid guessing game if sometimes things are translated literally and sometimes not. They are just trying to be cute and they failed.
All of the people who hate this because they somehow believe it is about the English idiom should keep in mind that this kind of thing sometimes occurs - that is, a culture may borrow an idiom and translate it in a way that is easy to remember. This is a very good case of that. The English version of the idiom is a rhyming one. The Chinese version here also rhymes and not only that, it hews very closely to the original English version's meaning, which is often very difficult to achieve.
This idiom is likely stick around - with people understanding that it originally came from the English idiom.
I asked my Chinese grandmother about this and she mentioned “冬吃萝卜夏吃姜, 不用医生开药方 (dōng chī luó bo xià chī jiāng, bú yòng yī shēng kaī yào fāng)” or some variation of that. It translates to a eating carrots in the winter and ginger in the summer means a doctor won’t have to write you a prescription. It also rhymes!!
It's a set phrase; an idiom.
If you said "a doctor" it would mean "any doctor at all." Now, normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but in this case, since it's this is a special idiom, we just mean "the concept of a doctor." So we use "the" to be specific.
Hope that helps!
Unfortunately, this not the incorrect idiom in Mando. The correct one is ”药补不如食补” (has a dictionary entry in Pleco dict app) or if you want to stay with the apple/doctor image, "一天一个苹果、医生远离我") ( an actual term on search engines). If you want to use this English proverb in the future, those are the two that I would recommend remembering
"一天一个苹果，医生不找我。" is just something Duo made up to "approximate" the English proverb. It's not something that is even popular to say in Mando to and among native speakers
There was a time in America when eating apples just wasn't done. It was a religious thing. Adam and Eve in the garden with the snake and the apple. In order to promote the burgeoning apple industry in the new States, Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase and published it in his widely read, "Poor Richard's Almanac". It has become idiomatic ever since.