I'm looking for a good French translation for suck in the context of an activity being a drag. For instance, how would you say "cold-calling sucks"?

The shorter the translation the better.

  • Sans plus de contexte : "suck" : aspirer, siphonner. "cold calling" démarchage téléphonique (spamming)
    – Personne
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:59
  • You should add that it was to be used in a professional website in your question
    – goto
    Apr 21, 2015 at 18:53

5 Answers 5


It would translate as 'ça craint' or 'c'est nul'. For an activity, you could very well say "c'est chiant".

  • 1
    +1 for mentioning my two favorites! I even combine them sometimes if the activity/object/person really sucks: “C’est/t’es nul à chier”!
    – Papa Poule
    Apr 17, 2015 at 21:31

You mention that it sucks and that it's a drag as in boring/annoying, or maybe a chore. I noted it doesn't necessarily suck ass/real bad in context. It may piss the person off or not. In so many words, there are many possible choices depending on whether you focus on qualifying what cold calling is or how people react to that. A few suggestions, mostly about the latter:

La sollicitation téléphonique/commerciale/au hasard/à froid c'est (bien/fort)...
désagréable (voir aussi)
fatigant (-)

...c'est une nuisance.


"C'est de la merde" works perfectly as well when you speak about an activity, a show, a movie, etc...

  • 1
    Doesn't work for a professional business website.
    – frenchie
    Apr 20, 2015 at 15:43
  • 2
    So? 'It sucks' doesn't work for a professional business website either.
    – Evpok
    Apr 20, 2015 at 18:45
  • No, 'prospecting sucks' works for me but 'prospecting is shit' wouldn't work; same as in French.
    – frenchie
    Apr 21, 2015 at 16:06

In that specific context I would use "ça me saoûle" although it doesn't qualify the cold-calling action but the effect it has on me.

Otherwise, "c'est naze", or "c'est relou" apply well. At least here in Paris.


So after thinking about it for a few days, I came up with "Dur dur le phoning" I think this conveys the message I'm looking to translate.

  • 3
    I can't claim that this doesn't work in French, because it might work in some variant. But in French from France, this sounds weird and doesn't mean anything close to “cold-calling sucks”: “Dur dur” means that something is difficult, and “phoning” isn't a word. Apr 19, 2015 at 19:48
  • 1
    Ah, ok so you’re looking for a way to say that it sucks to MAKE cold calls. I was thinking it was for expressing how much it sucks to RECEIVE such calls (at dinner time, for example). So yeah, the notion of “difficulty” would be more appropriate from the caller’s point of view, but I still think Guillaume’s “c’est nul (à chier)” would work for both ends of the calls: “C’est nul (à chier) [d’appeler les inconnus].” “ C’est nul (à chier) [de recevoir les appels des inconnus].” Another slang way to capture “Dur dur” might be “[Ce n’est] PAS FASTOCHE [d’appeler les inconnus].”
    – Papa Poule
    Apr 20, 2015 at 16:30
  • Geez! Why the downvote? care to explain?
    – frenchie
    Apr 21, 2015 at 21:57
  • 1
    Not my downvote (in fact I'll even bring you to even), but it could POSSIBLY have something to do with you (and you are certainly not alone) thinking that a VERY thinly veiled reference to fellatio (or BEST case to breast-feeding [from "hind tit"]) is somehow more suitable for "a professional website" than a reference to excrement (and no, spelling it with an X (SUX) doesn't help one bit to lift it to respectability).
    – Papa Poule
    Apr 21, 2015 at 23:42
  • This should have been an edit to your question, not an answer. You are supposed to give details of whatever research you have made in your question. A tour of the Help Centre might help you ask better questions.
    – None
    Apr 27, 2016 at 15:54

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