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My native language being French, I've never felt so uneasy about the translation of a word in English into a French word.

The word overthinker, according to Google, translates to débordeur.

Alternatively, over-thinker also literally translates to sur-penseur, but likewise, I feel like there might be a better way to describe it.

I know that I could say something like Je réfléchis trop (I think too much), but I feel like it's not as professional as saying I am an overthinker.

TL;DR

Is the best translation of over-thinker/overthinker sur-penseur?

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    Sur-penseur won't be understood. – jlliagre May 28 '18 at 7:08
  • Je réfléchis trop, je me pose trop de questions. – jlliagre May 28 '18 at 7:09
  • @jlliagre exactly my thoughts, I never heard of sur-penseur before looking into this. – TwiN May 28 '18 at 7:09
  • Des locutions avec à outrance, ou le glissement vers sur/hyper rationalisation. Autrement si on concevait ça comme qqc. de positif, c'est l'idée de voir loin peut-être, de penser en profondeur aux impacts, la grande capacité d'analyse, l'attention aux détails etc. J'ai lu dans un lien l'idée de ressasser constamment des idées. Il faut oublier la morphologie du mot anglais et l'aspect usuel du penseur, même si on croit aussi que le mot seul est utile pour attirer l'attention sur la réalité du fait que la personne pense beaucoup ou plus que la moyenne en contexte. Merci ! – user3177 May 30 '18 at 17:19
  • Side comment, since this is for an interview: mentioning that you are an overthinker might not be an excellent tactic. Even in English I would soften it in a paraphrase. – Alexis Oct 18 at 9:44
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I'm french and for me overthinker is a way to describe somebody thinking to much. So when you say :

I know that I could say something like Je réfléchis trop (I think too much), but I feel like it's not as professional as saying I am an overthinker.

I don't understand how you can be professional with this word. According to this (in french). Overthinking is more like a disease than a professional asset.

I'm not sure how you can use this word in a positive way. In french, I will use Je pense trop (I'm thinking too much) but I will use it on a negative sense.

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    I was about to suggest qui se prend la tête. The expression appears in the linked page. – jlliagre May 28 '18 at 7:06
  • To put you in perspective, I have an interview soon and the interviewer supposedly likes asking the 3 weaknesses question. One of my weakness is that I overthink things. – TwiN May 28 '18 at 7:07
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    @jlliagre "Se prendre la tête" is an another way to say it and sound better for me – Dessauges Antoine May 28 '18 at 7:11
  • @TwiN I think you should jut said something like "Je réféchi trop loin et cela me fait parfois perdre du temps" because it's half good and half bad (so for an interview is good). Half bad because you lose time and half good because you think correctly of the thing you need to do. I didn't think a word for "sur-penser" exist but don't use "sur-penseur" – Dessauges Antoine May 28 '18 at 7:11
  • Se prendre la tête is in my opinion the best translation. You should add it to your reply instead of keeping it less visible in comments. – jlliagre Oct 18 at 15:44
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I'm French and during my English course we saw this word "overthinker" in our vocabulary list. The teacher said there was no actual translation for this word.

We would translate that as a "penseur" (which means thinker).

  • In my opinion "penseur" lacks the negative message of excess that "overthinker" conveys. – Alexis Oct 18 at 9:23
  • What English course? Where is the reference to it? I wonder where the teacher found it. I have never seen in in my entire life. – Lambie Oct 18 at 17:53
  • Yeah, I am beginning to think he might be mistaken on that – Hugo Richard Oct 19 at 14:12
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The answer by Dessauges Antoine is good and would be understood by a native spaaker.

To emphasize that thinking too much is a trait of character of yours (as is implied by using the adjective form, rather than "I'm overthinking"), you could construct something out of "J'ai tendance à ..." (litt. "I have a tendency to ...").

If you mean a broad attitude in life, I suggest:

J'ai tendance à compliquer les choses. -- I tend to overthink things

which is slightly informal due to "chose".

If instead you are in a professional context and want to emphasize that you spend more time than necessary on the thinking part and not enough on the execution part, this would be my suggestion:

J'ai tendance à trop réfléchir. -- I tend to think too much

J'ai tendance à trop réfléchir avant d'agir. -- I tend to think too much before I act

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Il m'arrive parfois de surlire. (Quand je comprends un propos implicite que l'auteur n'a pas mis.) C'est évidemment un défaut.

On connaît tous le surproduire des usines et le surcorriger de la langue. (des défauts aussi)

Si je n'ai jamais rencontré de surpenser, j'ai, en revanche, plusieurs fois rencontré

surréfléchir.

C'est évidemment un défaut pour Laura Trompette dans Hello. Et c'est bien là le sens de over-think.

Mais pas pour Merleau-Ponty qui l'utilise (certes entre guillemets), en opposition à irréfléchir pour ce qui concerne le dépassement de la perception sensible immédiate. Et ça... c'est du sport! Mais ça reste un devoir.

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    "Surréfléchir" se comprend, c'est donc d'autant plus dommage qu'il n'y ait pas de substantif basé sur le verbe "réfléchir" pour désigner quelqu'un qui réfléchit... – Destal Oct 18 at 12:05
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    @Destal : Ha mais si qu'on en a un totalement légitime et bâti comme il faut : "Réflexionneur" google.fr/search?tbm=bks&hl=fr&q=r%C3%A9flexionneur (bon! Oui! Il est déjà pris péjorativement.... alors... je n'ose m'imaginer ce qu'il en irait d'un surreflexionneur ;-) – aCOSwt Oct 18 at 12:47

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