Hi i would like to know what is a good word to replace awkward in english.

I tried looking up some translators but too many words were being proposed as a replacement. Is there a particuliar one that is used frequently and naturally?

  • Ça peut être traduit par «gênant», «embarrassant», «maladroit» mais cela dépend du contexte. – Toto Mar 10 '18 at 11:13
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    There are too many words for a reason. Several answers have been given despite the lack of context. An awkward movement, an awkward person, an awkward situation, an awkward remark — all different and not all the same translation. Even being "super awkward at parties" has two very different meanings. Does he feel like he's out of place (pas à l'aise, pas chez lui, pas dans son élément, as Alone-zee suggested), or does he make it awkward for others, i.e. they feel uncomfortable after talking to him (gauche, gênant)? – Luke Sawczak Mar 10 '18 at 16:04
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    Can you please provide more context for your question and share some of the results of your investigation ? Are there some translations where you're not clear about the difference ? – qoba Mar 10 '18 at 17:45

Just as the English word "awkward" carries (slightly) different meanings, depending on context, you use different words and expressions accordingly.

For instance, if "X put me in an awkward situation":

X m'a mis(e) dans l'embarras.

You don't necessarily automatically translate the adjective "awkward" into another adjective.

Regarding your comment: To convey the sense of awkwardness in such a case, you can say something like:

Les soirées, c'est pas son truc, il ne s'y sent pas chez lui.

Les soirées, c'est pas son truc, il ne s'y sent pas à l'aise.

Les soirées, c'est pas son truc. Il ne se sent simplement pas dans son élément.

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    whoops i wasn't aware awkward is so nuanced. How about the context where awkward is used to describe someone who is not comfortable socially? Example: Tom is too timid, he is super awkward at parties. – Chen Ee Woon Mar 10 '18 at 12:43
  • @ChenEeWoon Answer updated. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Mar 10 '18 at 13:09
  • @ChenEeWoon: Please update the question with this additional context. – Stéphane Gimenez Mar 10 '18 at 15:18

it is embarrassing : c'est embarrassant.

it is humiliating: C'est humiliant.

it is so awkward: C'est tellement gênant


You do not translate words but expressions and sentences. Depending on them and their context, one or another of the translations you found are suitable, or possibly different ones.


Im french and the best word to use is "dérangeant" or "gênant"


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    The system flagged your answer as too short. I think one further problem is that it is also too assertive. How could you possibly determine the best word without the original context? I agree with @Luke Sawczak, that the question needs to be edited and include some examples... – GAM PUB Mar 11 '18 at 11:10

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