What Does Shadenfreude Mean In English?


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E Jacobson answered
Schadenfreude comes from the German and is used in English but it is difficult to translate it exactly. It means deriving some kind of pleasure from someone else's pain or discomfort. So, if we have a rival in the office whom we do not particularly like and they make a mistake and then end up being shouted at, that wry little smile which passes over our lips and the sense of smugness which we may have at seeing someone we dislike being castigated, could very accurately sum up a sense of Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude is not wifully causing someone harm or pain, but sometimes if we see someone experiencing discomfort or embarrasment, then we will derive some kind of pleasure from this. It is consequently quite a human emotion but one of which we should not really be proud.

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