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  5. "En boca cerrada no entran mo…

"En boca cerrada no entran moscas."

Translation:Silence is golden.

December 19, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Loose lips sink ships!


I think this differs in nuance, even though the concept is similar. "Silence is golden," which they give as the equivalent, doesn't imply danger if it is broken, only that it is pleasant and good. So IF they are correct that is the most analogous English idiom, I would be wary of using it to imply a dangerous situation.


Agreed. 'Silence is golden' is just appreciative of silence. The idiom here advises the wise to keep their mouths shut!


I said A closed mouth attracts no flies, but they wouldn't have that. It totally works for my dog though. He doesn't really have to chase flies since all he has to do is lay there with his mouth agape. He'd get so many he'd choke!


i said a closed mouth gathers no flies and it was accepted, so maybe you are the reason. thanks.


I said similar but computer said no


Well, he'd choke anyway if he'd keep his mouth shut, for you probably know that dog sweats through his mouth and balances his temperature. Panting dogs are in need of cooling - flies or no flies


Exactly! I have had a hard time learning that lesson.


Its not the same. Used also eating with mouth open, or just having your mouth open i used to get told this. When i used to get told this for being loud, i used to just hum very loudly with my mouth closed. Yeh so we have this in english/england and its not 'silence is golden'


There is of course a different idiom in English which is to some extent opposite. Closed mouths don't get fed.


didn't like "put a cork in it"


We have one quite similar. "A frog dies because of its mouth"- referring to when the croak of the frog makes it an easy prey to the snake.


An unopened bottle can't get you drunk. // The enemy has an alliance: your words. // Think what you say before you say what you think. // You had marvelous ideas - till you put them in words. Anybody owns them now.


In Hebrew we have something similar "סייג לחכמה שתיקה" - it's wiser to keep silence


Never heard that one before. I like it!


It's from advisories given to soldiers in World War II.


It's still used in the Navy today.


bjlearner According to google translate this phrase translates to Loose lips sink ships while Duolingo on one hand says it is silence is golden! Maybe where you come from this phrase changes slightly. :)


Literally: "Flies don't enter a closed mouth"


Much better than silence is golden. have a lingot. EDIT: Have another cause I still think it's a better translation.


When I got this sentence, I hovered over the words like I usually do when I can't figure out the meaning straight away. I didn't just submit "Silence is golden". I hovered over each word, then translated the sentence to "Flies don't enter in a closed mouth." "Silence is golden" has similarities to "Flies don't enter in a closed mouth" in praising the value of holding one's tongue, but they don't mean the same thing. Several times now Duolingo has given a translation which while may be a popularly used English idiom that is similar in meaning, is not the translation that is closest in meaning to the original Spanish.

I've also reported that my answer should've been accepted, and that "Flies do not enter in closed mouth" doesn't make sense gramatically (there should be an "a" before "closed mouth".


I do the same thing! I'd rather read the actual words then be told what American sentence it is sort of like!


That's a great saying. We should use it in English.


My grandmother used to say "ask no questions, you'll get no lies; close your mouth, you'll catch no flies". So I use it, at least! Great saying.


I've heard that used before by my elders (so to speak)-- "A closed mouth catches no flies"


I've heard this one before as well, so that's what I used for my answer.


Muchas gracias!


Also, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt".


In Irish there is a saying "Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón" which tranlates to "A persons mouth often broke his nose" which could be another reason for keeping it shut.


That is now my favorite version of this ever


In that direction goes "The Finnish counting": One word needs two people, three makes hundred rumors and a bucket full of difficulties.


I love that! Thanks for sharing.


Go hiontach ar fad!


yes, the cruder version being, 'better to remain silent and be thought an idiot, than to open your mouth and prove it' :)


Also “The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.” - Benjamin Franklin


From the Bible, amiright?


LOL, not exactly. It's attributed to Abraham Lincoln. :)


Well it's also in Proverbs, so maybe that's where he got it. :)


Touche. I'm sure that was Abe's inspiration, but he did add the second (and best) part. Gives it a lot more pizzazz. Also, this whole discussion is making me want to rewatch that old Peter Sellers movie "Being There".


Ah, you mean the bible of the USA ;-) Yet another version or origin ist mentioned at http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/silence-is-golden.html :

"As with many proverbs, the origin of this phrase is obscured by the mists of time. There are reports of versions of it dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first example of it in English is from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831 [...´Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold`]"


the bible version says "even a fool seems wise when he keeps his mouth shut"


Thanks, Mariana, I just looked it up - it is in the proverbs (the name suits the content)
Great to know how a fool like me can fake it until I make it ;-) Have a lingot.



I'm not sure why you replied to my comment though, I wasn't the one who said it was from the bible. :)


I simply was joking, because your response to bible was "Abraham Lincoln" ;-)

The more important part of my message was that it likely did not originate from him, but multiple unknown sources.


Precisely. Although probably too long for DL to consider...


I learned the English version as, "A closed mouth gathers no feet." But maybe that was unique to my circle of friends.


I attempted that, not knowing what "moscas" was...and has been mentioned "Flies" didn't appear as one of the words' translations. I thought maybe "moscas" was a word for "Moccasins" or something similar. Fortunately, it was the last question, so I "passed" anyway.


I have heard and used this one too. A teacher of mine had a poster of it on his wall :)


Yes, I'm familiar with that one. It is a beautiful mix of two idioms "a rolling stone gathers no moss" and "putting one's foot in his/her mouth"


"Silence is golden, duct tape is silver."


This is brilliant!


Thanks! Just so you know, I didn't come up with it. It's what all my middle school teachers tell us when we talk too much.


I had always thought "silence is golden" is akin to saying "silence is music to my ears" or "darn I'm sure happy those kids shut up," whereas the saying "Flies don't enter a closed mouth" seems to imply more of a threat/consequence if you're speaking when you shouldn't...


I agree, dreadpiratebly. "Silence is golden" is very broad, but the meaning that I read from the Spanish words here is quite precautionary.


agree 100%. Now that I know about the flies (which were not offered as an option on the hover text) I think "silence is golden" is not an equivalent idiom at all.


The flies have a role, too. I think that they are the bad echo, the rumors, that start spreading after you've got them in your mouth. There's another saying about this // Listen to a friend who says:'It's true what I say' You KNOW it's a rumor. Say the same to someone else, and 'BLING' : it IS true.


nah, silence is golden can be applied to a fair number of contexts but even if you used it to mean 'silence is music to my ears' there would still exist the 'threat' that noise of some kind should disturb your happy quiet or that if the noise does not cease soon you will not be as happy as you could be. Most often it would be used in such a way as to mean that if you speak you will disturb things in some way, such as by breaking a promise, being indiscreet, threatening national security, appearing like an idiot, or just getting on someone's nerves LOL :)


This is quite relevant to Plato's quote: "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something."


I feel the English part doesn't do the Spanish phrase justice. My Spanish professor explained the idiom to us as "A closed mouth gathers no flies".


the closest english idiom is ' a closed mouth catches no flies' and unless you happen to be a frog you probably don't want to be swallowing flies ;)


I am almost positive that "a closed mouth swallows no flies" is also an English proverb.


Personally, I think flies can't enter a closed mouth fits very well and is closer to the literal translation but what do I know.


In Dutch, "Spreken is zilver, zwijgen is goud." - "Speaking is silver, keeping silent is gold."

The Spanish version is a quote from Miguel de Cervantes.


In Deutsch/en alemán: Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold. Bedeutung: Manchmal ist es besser, zu schweigen statt Unpassendes oder Überflüssiges zu sagen. / Significado: A veces es mejor permanecer en silencio en lugar de decir palabras inadecuadas o superfluas.



I found it interesting that in all languages there is only 'half' of the saying we have in Polish "Mowa jest srebrem, milczenie jest złotem", which means actually the same as the Dutch one!


In hebrew its "silence worth gold" "wall to the wisdom is silence" "be pretty and shutup" lol "Better to keep quiet and to considerd as dumb then talk and prove it" of course all the pharses here are translated and not exactly like it said


A much cruder version in English is: "When you're nose-deep in (expletive!), you'd better keep your mouth shut."


my dad says that one!


my mother always told us that 'a shut mouth catches no flies' and that means the same as 'silence is golden' - or at least it does in Ireland.


A shut mouth catches no flies. Should be accepted.


'A closed mouth draws no flies' should be accepted also but wasn't.


Or The less said the easiest mended.


I was tempted to put "A closed mouth gathers no foot" which I have heard in English, as a play-on-words for the more-used saying, "Put one's foot in one's mouth" --which means to say something that became embarrassing (typically due to not thinking about what one was saying, although possibly due to having incomplete information).


Ha! ha! ha! the literal translation is so funny. "In mouth closed enter no flies." Or I guess "Flies don't enter a closed mouth." is more grammatically correct. I think it's similar to the English expression "To put your foot in your mouth." but I really like the "closed mouth gathers no flies." I'm totally going to start using this expression in English. Mark Twain once said, "It is better to keep you mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."


so, like, shut up in a more conservative way


Shut up means Do Not Speak! It is a proscription. This is more of a prescription. A general statement about the value of not speaking.


What does it mean literally anyways? In closed mouth, flies do not enter?


I wonder if it has anything to do with the flies of Catala'n. Where somebody made sainthood by calling on flies to drive away an invading army?


Yeah it could mean that , because when I visite the country where my parent were borned "marroco" (very hot such as spain) flies come in and come out of mouth of people


Yes... it is loose lips sink ships!


how about "People often bring about their undoings through their tongues."


"Silence is golden" is ok, but it's not as accurate in either spirit or in literal meaning as the idiom I learned when young - "A closed mouth gathers no flies".


A shut mouth catches no flies


They did NOT accept "Flies can't get in a closed month." Guess you have to use the word "enter".


Would it still be correct if, a closed mouth does not take in flies, was written?


No flies enter a closed mouth. You won't say anything you will regret if you keep your mouth shut.


Am I the only one who thought that the more literal translation was better - "flies don't enter a closed mouth"? I still entered "Silence is golden" of course, but that it gold!


Accepted "Flies don't enter a closed mouth "


Oh, for heaven's sake. I translated it as "Flies do not enter into A closed mouth." I know that no "un/una" was present, but "flies do not enter into closed mouth" sounds funny in English. And Duolingo already translated it extremely loosely as "silence is golden," so I figured that there'd be at least a little leeway, right? Nope.


"no flies enter a closed mouth" works!


As does, "Flies don't enter a closed mouth."




"In a closed mouth, no flies enter". Hilarious, and very true.


I would translste this as "a closed mouth draws no flies" am I alone here?


Yes, which literally translates to the same idiom used in English


Another one is "A closed mouth does not get flies" right?


In a closed mouth, flies don't enter.


Maybe it really is.


No, Silence will fall


...when the question is asked.


A closed mouth gathers no flies. This is the equivelant idiom. Not silence is golden.


I completely agree. Why complicate things by translating it to another idiom when the literal translation is an existing English idiom?


I agree as well, although I think this is less common as an English idiom. I, at least, have never heard this in English. But there certainly are many that I have. The German course translates the German idiom which directly translates to One hand washes the other to I'll scratch your back and you'll scratch mine. It is always possible that anyone might not know a couple of these on English, but not so many.


I like the direct translation better, a closed mouth doesn't catch flies. Calling it "Silence is golden" kinda takes out the culture of the language, don't you think?


I tried for something straight-forward, "if you keep quiet you won't get into trouble", but I guess the only way to pass this lesson is to memorize the "correct" phrases :)


To be fair, the lesson is about idioms. What you tried has the right meaning but isn't an idiom.


true but not all idioms have a corresponding idiom in every other language


Yeah, I think they should allow literal translation from Spanish to English ( since it shows that you understand the idiom ), but not permit literal translation from English to Spanish, since we're trying to learn the Spanish idioms.


I agree. But Duo is a computer. You must translate as expected. Generally a direct translation assuming good English grammar and syntax, will work. A paraphrase is too hard for Duo to deal with.


I guess noise is like emeralds


I didn't notice that Mr. Hover didn't say moscas means flies. Luckily I knew that already. Years ago I bought some tapes to learn from. One line I remember was "Quiero moscas para la cena." Gross, memorable, and fun.


Como se dice? "Silence" y "Golden"


Ugh I lost a heart because I made "mouth" plural.


The spanish translation is rather long for Silence is golden. Does anyone know why?


I like the spanish version more! :p


I think there is quite a distinct difference between the two translations 'silence is golden' and ' a closed mouth gathers no flies'. You could say 'silence is golden' when the kids have gone outside to play and you have a bit peace and quiet. Wheras ' A closed mouth gathers no flies' implies that you should refrain from saying something that could consequently cause trouble either to you or someone else.


Agreed! Also, a closed mouth is also very useful in other ways. My father used to say it to me (tongue in cheek/to be funny) when I would ride on his motorcycle with him. He was right!


I agree with you completely. 'Shut mouth catches no flies' was what my mother used to say when she was warning us not to say something that might get us or someone else in to trouble.


I said mosquitos and got shut down


The app cuts of the pop up definition box. I can't see what some word's translations are


I put in "in a closed mouth flies so not enter" translating it litterally, it counted it right


Not happy with this.


I put "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" but there are some great proverbs in this comment section! Love it.


This actually means Mosquitos dont enter shut mouths


Barron's 2001 Spanish and English Idioms translates this to "Mum's the word". Not accepted by Duo


the translation should be loose lips sink ships this is misleading




That's the longest way I've ever heard, "Silence is golden." Is there another way to say it, by any chance?


A closed mouth gathers no flies is the correct English idiom


Duolingo- These are difficult exercises for beginners, who understand neither the Spanish idiom, nor the vocabulary words. It would be helpful, on the top of this comments page, to start off by stating both the translated idiom AND the literal translation of the phrase.


It's hard to remember a phrase when the literal meaning of the words is never shown


Could this be used in the context of "If you don't have anything to useful to say, don't say anything"?


A closed mouth let's in no flies was not accepted but that is the way I've often heard the expression.


"Flies do not enter a closed mouth." Ouch spanish, ouch. haha


En modca cerrada no entrem bocas


I'd argue that "loose lips sink ships" is a more appropriate translation in this context.


I think a good suggestion for duolingo would be to put literal translations idioms somewhere on the page or something. A literal translation of this would be something like "In a closed mouth, no flies enter", or "no flies enter a closed mouth"-nothing close to "silence is golden".


Looks like the literal translation of each specific word is 'A closed mouth lets in no flies'


I'm sure this has already been said but I find it strange the software translates this to "silence is golden" when the literal translation is almost identical to the English idiom, "a closed mouth gathers no flies"


I personally have never heard that expression in either the East Coast or West Coast U.S. which possibly might be part of the issue. But in the German course they translated what was precisely one hand washes the other in German into the idiom I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine. They may just use the first one that comes to mind, but why that isn't the direct translation if it workes is a mystery.


One hand washes the other or I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine is another idiom that has a different meaning and doesn't apply here. In other words, I'll help you if you help me. A closed mouth gathers no flies is more like keep your mouth shut so your foot doesn't end up in it. Or more literally, if you're a gossip, tattletale or blabber mouth you can end up with bad consequences.


I've also heard people use this phrase quite literally. Mostly grandmas who get disgusted by their grandkids always leaving their mouths hanging open and they say, "shut your mouth, the flies are getting in."


I wasn't suggesting either of the idioms as applicable here. I was just commenting on Duo's love for translating one idiom with another when the direct translation would work.


So sorry, I misunderstood. You're right of course.


There's a direct equivalent of this in English: a closed mouth gathers no flies.


I wish they could translate the idioms literally then give the alternative meaning for it


It's like the English saying silence is bliss


This is silly. I was wrong for saying "cannot". Instead of "won't". That is drawing a pretty fine line.


Neither cannot or won't should have been acceptrd. Cannot speaks to ability which although logically true is not what is said. Won't is will not which is a future statement. Do not is the simple English negation which matches the Spanish statement.


I wish they would give the literal translations as well, it's charming. Like, " A otro perro con ese hueso" means "you're putting me on", literally, "to another dog with that bone. "Yo tengo una tía que toca la guitarra", "I have an aunt that plays guitar", or, "what does that have to do with anything?"



I like those. They are most definitely idioms as it would be extremely difficult to discern their meanings from the words. I do think that they put the idioms too early. The literal meaning is generally quite easy to understand with a fairly low level of Spanish, but not quite as early as they are given, at least the first time up the tree.


Your wish and mine should be a comm. to DL. But it isn't. Sorry is. Which reminds me of an old story: One very very rich man had tried everything and all to find the ultimate answer to his ultimate question: "WHAT IS THE UTMOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IN THE WORLD" He certainly wanted to do just that , and he certainly had lots of means to accomplish -at least some of it. He was sent with his question to a hermit, who was regarded as the wisest man on Earth. He then came to the hermit, laid down his question and waited, waited and waited... After a month or so, the hermit seemed to wake up, asked for a cup of rice and another of water, and said: "Yes, I have the answer to your most difficult question. (Thanks for the rice and water) -- there is nothing in this world as important as is gardening --- which all things around is not so very important either..." SO; If you're not born in the culture where these proverbs were born, you're just a gardener, who sweats in doing his work, but never realizes the beauty that he and his companions 've created. Let's get literar (philosophicly) : Important is not to look important. Important is to see the unimportance of the littlest, tiny, wieny bits and pieces that this - beyond human comprehension out-streching evolutive life is going to --- without gardening.


"in mouth golden no enter flies," -Duolingo, 2016

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