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In English, the word "awkward" can be used to describe a situation that is uncomfortable and embarrassing (but neither word seems to fully describe what "awkward" describes). What is the best translation of this concept in Spanish? If a single word doesn't fully capture the English meaning, what phrase would best describe it?

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In Spanish the best translation for awkward is incómodo.

e.g.

¡Qué incómodo! >.<

Yes, 'incómodo' can just mean uncomfortable, but also it is used as awkward as in an awkward situation.

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    You can also say embarazosa. La situación era muy incómoda/embarazosa. – Javi Jan 12 '12 at 8:57
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Actually, I don't think we have such a precise word as 'awkward' (I've missed it).

As per other answer, "incómodo" is the most commonly used word. But because "incómodo" means in general "uncomfortable", this sense is often made more explicit: "Una situación incómoda", "Un momento incómodo", etc.

Other words are "(momento) embarazoso" (more precise, but less colloquial), or "violento" (which also is ambiguous).

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  • How are your two examples made more explicit? What would less explicity uncomfortable? – Ethan Furman Jan 12 '12 at 21:40
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The word "Torpe" has all the flavor and meaning as awkward. And it is used in exactly the same way like "El muchacho es muy torpe" (The boy is awkward) or "Esta en una etapa de torpeza" (His in a awkward stage) as for your sentence "Me siento torpe en esta situacion"

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  • Wouldn't 'torpe' be better translated as uncoordinated or clumsy? – Kage Jan 12 '12 at 6:50
  • I think this is a different sense of awkward (a clumsy person as opposed to an awkward situation). – jrdioko Jan 12 '12 at 13:29
  • there is is a difference but "torpe" is as close as you can get unless some one can thik of another word. – Fortunato Jan 13 '12 at 7:25
  • @Fortunato Gracias por tu aportación. He editado las faltas de ortografía en español. Por favor, de ahora en adelante, cuida la ortografía. Gracias. – Laura Jan 13 '12 at 12:22
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    @Fortunato o simplemente puedes dejar una nota al pie de tu respuesta pidiendo que el primero que lo vea y pueda editar que edite tus falta, o redactarlas primero en un procesador de textos con corrector. No creo que haga falta dejar de participar. :) – Laura Jan 14 '12 at 11:41
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In addition to incómodo which has already been suggested, Linguee.com (which I suggest you take a look at) also suggests

delicado, extraño, dificil

when describing a situation (as opposed to a person). Which is what you appear to be asking about.

You can help us help you by including a sample context.

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Other two possibilities:

desagradable (http://www.wordreference.com/sinonimos/desagradable)

espinoso (http://www.wordreference.com/sinonimos/espinoso)

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