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This means that if someone says something against you and you do not defend yourself, it means you agree with waht they say of you. I am pretty sure there is something just like that in English... Thanks.

8 Answers

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In actual fact I think the saying is

Quien calla, otorga - Silence implies or gives consent

  • Feb 6, 2010
  • | Edited by Eddy Oct 12, 2010
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  • Tacit approval. - 0074b507 Feb 6, 2010
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It is as originally stated: "El que calla, otorga" or "Quien calla, otorga." It is not "oRtorga" as an earlier post put it; the infinitive is "otorgar." The best translation on some other forums is "Silence gives consent" or "Silence implies consent," which wins out over longer translations since these "sayings" are meant to be pithy and not wordy. Contrary to the previous post, this is NOT like "Silence is golden" or that silence is a good sign, but rather more like "if you don't say anything, your silence implies that you agree or that you can't argue." A bit like "Speak now or forever hold your peace" in a way. A friend just used this phrase tonight to refer to a man he thinks is cheating with his wife. I asked if he's had any more contact with the guy, and he says the guy hasn't returned his calls. "Quien calla, otorga" tonight meant that the man's silence was a tacit admission of the his guilt. Hope that helps.

  • Oct 11, 2010
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  • In this case I would say "Your silence speaks volumes". - gabacholoco Oct 11, 2010
  • Typing error. - Eddy Oct 12, 2010
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hmmm, im not sure. if you cant beat 'em, join 'em?

  • Feb 6, 2010
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so maybe like, silence is golden? like silence is a good thing, or a good sign.

  • Feb 6, 2010
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  • no, this saying is pro silence, whereas in the question it is bad to be silent - MiguelitoNZ Feb 6, 2010
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I take that as a yes!

  • Oct 11, 2010
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He/She who is silent when I ask them an accusatory yes or no question always means yes.

Example Scenario:

Question: Rompio el vidrio? Answer: (Silence)

El que calla otorga....

The implied answer in this scenario is that the person is guilty of breaking the window.

This is not a literal translation but rather the equivalent interpretation since, a literal translation is impossible because of culture differences.

  • May 12, 2016
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Great answers above. Another variation I hear a lot is: No siempre él que calla otorga!

  • May 12, 2016
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Speak now or forever hold your peace

  • May 13, 2016
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