I was just wondering how the word 'awkward' would translate to Chinese in the context of a photo. How could you say 'I look awkward in this photo', meaning a bit unsure of how to look in the photo; unphotogenic. I have seen the word ‘尴尬’ being used but I think this more denotes self-consciousness/embarrassment while awkwardness is a bit different to that. Would 尴尬 still work in this situation? Thank you.

3 Answers 3


不上相 means unphotogenic. To be clear, it’s only used in the context of photos and doesn’t mean awkward in general. Also, it could be considered a euphemism for ugly, just like unphotogenic.

Nowadays, the meaning of 尴尬 (and also 尬) is gradually expanding. I think if you use 尴尬 (or simply 尬), people can still understand you perfectly.

Below is a real-world example posted on 6/10:

感谢XX给我拍了一张这么尬的照片。 (Thank you, XX, for taking such an awkward photo of me.)

  • Thanks for your help and the example provided, it's good to know that 尴尬 is now starting to be used in different contexts.
    – Olivia
    Commented Jun 13 at 19:54

When a photo looks 'awkward' it means it looks 彆扭

2.不通順、不流暢 = not smooth

It also means it looks 'unnatural'(不自然) or 'strange' (很奇怪)

  • Very useful, thank you.
    – Olivia
    Commented Jun 13 at 19:53

awkward: original meaning: "in the wrong direction," later: "clumsy, wanting ease and grace in movement", now also "embarrassed, ill-at-ease"

'I look awkward in this photo.'

  • This is very helpful and thank you!
    – Olivia
    Commented Jun 13 at 19:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.