"Ce livre est nul."
I think lame is a little more negative than useless. A mathematics book may be useless to someone looking to save someone's life but a lame book is useless, or worse, for anyone.
You're right. In fact, I think that for this sentence, “lame” would be more appropriate. Translate “useless” as « nul » when it refers to a person; for a book, it would be « inutile ».
Cool, thanks, I was worried I'd been using it wrong for a long time! And thanks for the additional usages!
I think ... this should translate also as: this book is nothing .... or zero; useless is "inutile".
I feel like 'nul' doesn't translate well... It's a word I've just internalised and upon having to translate here I got kind of a deer in the headlights feeling until I hovered it, and then I felt dissatisfied. Am I right in this, or have I just always understood it wrong?