What would be the proper way of translating

I don't have confidence in myself to dance on stage.

I understand that this isn't a translation service, but my difficulty arises from the many translations of the word "confidence".

I've narrowed it down to 信心 and 自信。I also believe the sentence structure will be slightly different depending on how which I select. May someone please provide an appropriate translation?

5 Answers 5


The main difference between the two is that the subject of 自信 is fixed - self. That is, "self-confidence" is a more direct translation of 自信. If you can fit "self-confidence" in your English sentence, you can fit 自信 in your Chinese sentence the same way.


在台上跳舞, 我没有自信.


Actually, it is not strict. Mostly, it depends your expression in chinese.

  • Rolling back. By the way who approve the suggested edit?????
    – 杨以轩
    Aug 30, 2013 at 15:07

Now since the example is "I" being the subject, so there're no difference of sentence structure using either 自信 (self-assurance, confidence in yourself) or 信心 (confidence in yourself or someone/something else). The difference will occur in a sentence like this:

Traditional: 人們對今年的經濟前景沒多大信心。

Simplified: 人们对今年的经济前景没多大信心。

Pinyin: rén men duì jīn nián de jīng jì qián jǐng méi duō dà xìn xīn。

Meaning: People don't give much hope to the economic growth.

Note: In this sentence, don't replace 信心 with 自信, though I can't say it's utterly wrong to use 自信 here.

In your example, you can use both 信心 and 自信, because "confidence in oneself" is the common point between these two words:

  1. Using 信心

    Traditional: 在舞臺上跳舞,我沒信心。

    Simplified: 在舞台上跳舞,我没信心。

    Pinyin: zài wǔ tái shàng tiào wǔ,wǒ méi xìn xīn。

  2. Using 自信

    Traditional: 在舞臺上跳舞,我沒自信。

    Simplified: 在舞台上跳舞,我没自信。

    Pinyin: zài wǔ tái shàng tiào wǔ,wǒ méi zì xìn。


我没有在台上跳舞的自信。I don't have confidence in myself to dance on stage.

  • It would be more useful if you offered reasoning on your choice of words. Mar 21, 2013 at 21:13
  • 1
    Welcome to Chinese Language and Usage Beta! Usually we prefer longer and more elaborated answers on short answers. If you can improve your answer by adding detail, context, examples, and backing up with references, this would increase your answer's quality. Poor answers risk being down-voted and subsequently removed.
    – Alenanno
    Mar 22, 2013 at 23:30

yeah, I notice that @congusbongus has given a good answer, I only want to add some other things. as we know, there is a difference between "自信" and "信心" if that be used to descripe traits of person. we always say like this: he is a very confident man, in this sentence, the word confident is more close to the meaning of self-confidently. so you would better to praise somepeople by using the word self-confidently. and than if you want to express that somepeople would be largely successful to do some work, you could say like this: he has a very confident to do it. now have you get it?

  • Some examples in Chinese would be much appreciated.
    – 杨以轩
    Aug 30, 2013 at 15:09
  • Welcome to Chinese StackExchange, here's an upvote to start you off. Why don't you add some example sentences, and maybe more people will upvote you :) Aug 30, 2013 at 18:41
  • ok, list some example as below:
    – DarkHorse
    Aug 31, 2013 at 3:17

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