Awkward in Portuguese
How do you say awkward in portuguese?
Americans love awkwardness, or at least you would think so given how much they talk about it. But Brazilians have never really had a concept for “awkwardness,” and so Brazilian Portuguese would logically not have a word for a concept that doesn’t exist. Brazilians are really amazing at socializing, and this is a cultural trait that leaves no room for awkwardness. Recently, however, it seems that Brazilians who have more exposure to American culture are beginning to understand the concept of “being awkward”, and are even starting to talk about it. Thanks America.
There are some concepts that I wish had never entered into the Brazilian psyche. The concept of “being stressed” for example. The word “estresse” in Portuguese is a relatively recent addition to Brazilian Portuguese vocabulary, and this clearly came from American English. Americans love stress and have a culture that doesn’t value stress reduction. In fact, Americans actually are impressed by people who operate at high stress levels – as if the ability to do 5 things at once is a measure of being a successful human being. People in the US talk about being stressed with a hint of pride or satisfaction behind their voices.
“Awkwardness” is another concept that I hope Brazilians do not adopt. The thought of “feeling awkward” is ridiculous to me. If you feel that way, then get over it. Don’t talk about it or dwell on it. Awkwardness is not even real, it is just a made up concept that you really could decide to ignore.
So now that Brazil has been introduced to the idea of being awkward, what are some of the ways that Brazilians are talking about it? They are definitely not saying “awkward” much (this is a really challenging word to say for Brazilians actually – unlike “stress” which was easily adopted as “estresse”).
There are a couple of ways that I can think of off the top of my head:
mal-azado (sort of)
“aquele momento estranho quando…” – “that awkward moment when…”
Can you think of any others?