Daily Chinese Proverb: Silence

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Monday, 31 August 2009
This 4 character Chinese proverb is most often used in circumstances where it is thought that saying nothing is preferable to speaking. It can also used to describe the meditative thoughts of a person, that emptiness in the mind, which is useful or 'golden'.

chénmò shì jīn
Silence is Golden

It is thought that the full quote is:

shuōhuà shì yín, chénmò shì jīn
Speaking is silver, Silence is golden

although the shorter version is much more commonly used.
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  1. Guus Says:
  2. Interesting - in Dutch we have a very similar verb, though I think the Chinese are way better at living up to it:
    "spreken is zilver, zwijgen is goud"--> speaking is silver; being still is gold.

  3. Hi Guus, I think you are right.

    The saying is very popular over several countries. There is something to it.



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