Sure you’ve ever heard the wordSchadenfreude ever on the Internet or in a book, or have you listened to it while watching TV.
Actually, it is not so strange that you have heard it: it has appeared in series such as The Simpsons or Caso Abierto, in addition to having references in music and literature groups. It is a German word that has become popular around the world, But what exactly does Schadenfreude mean, where does this word come from, what is it used for?
What does Schadenfreude mean?
Schadenfreude would literally be something like comfortable-glad, Schaden being dao and Freude happy. The word means the joy or pleasure that someone has when someone else fails or suffers a setback.
Its English equivalent would be to gloat while In Spanish we could use the expression of laughing at the evil of others as similar, although it does not have a literal translation in other languages, which is why some languages borrow the word from the German. In many other languages we find similar words and expressions, but it is usually uncommon to find direct equivalences.
What is an example of Schadenfreude?
We can find many examples of rejoicing (and even exploiting) the evil of others for our entertainment, surely you can think of one while reading these lines, although here we leave you a clear, simple example for the whole family.
From the country that invented the word Schadenfreude. The FDP is driving this truck around London today. pic.twitter.com/zGEuLxonhQ
(((Charles Hawley))) (@charles_hawley) July 5, 2016
What you see above is an advertising van from the Free Democratic Party from Germany touring London after the referendum gave the green light to the so-called Brexit. On the poster you can clearly see the message from Dear start-ups, keep calm and move to Berlin. Come on, the party is trying to take advantage of the tragedy of others (Brexit for technology companies) in his own favor (take them to Germany).
We also have the example from The Simpsons we were talking about earlier: Homer is glad that the Flanders’ shop – the famous Zurdorium – failed, and Lisa takes the floor as a way of reproaching his behavior. In the video above (in English) you can see the scene.
What examples of Schadenfreude can you think of?