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June 23, 2017Peer reviewReviewed

Archive 1 contains ...[edit]

I just created the first archive of this talk page. For the most part, it contains a lot of debate about the appropriateness of "Pop Culture" and "Trivia" usages in this article (and its general quality of scholarship). The debate never seemed to come to any solid consensus; if anyone wants to bring the subject back up, take a quick glance over Archive 1 to see the old debate. Peace and Passion (talk) 02:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Cree equivalent? I doubt it[edit]

I have serious doubts about "currillos" as a Cree equivalent of "Schadenfreude". I don't know a lot of Cree (or ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐧᐁᒧᐧᐃᓐ), but I know enough to think "currillos" looks way un-Cree. Don't have time to figure out who posted that particular line, but I thought those interested ought to be aware. In other words, I am nominating that particular line for deletion. --Haruo (talk) 07:15, 19 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]


If this page is going to redirect from freudenschade, then it needs to at least mention the word (in the sense of sadness at another's joy, presumably). (talk) 14:19, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

How interesting! Thanks for calling this to our attention, since I had no idea that "Freudenschade" re-directed here. (A history of that re-direct suggests the article began by assuming this word meant exactly what "schadenfreude" does.) A student humorist in 2006 wrote an article said there was a need for the word "freudenschade," saying "If Schadenfreude is feeling joy at the misfortune of others, then Freudenschade is feeling miserable at their joy." But the article doesn't claim this word exists as anything but that student's invention. I am unable to find it in any dictionaries, online or otherwise, although it was once a Yahoo "worthless word of the day". It seems to be a word that has been multiply invented but hasn't caught on. betsythedevine (talk) 20:08, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It´s definitely no german word. Reversing the parts of a word just produces nonsense, not opposite meanings, in the german language.

There is another invented "Gernam" word , gluckschmerz , which should at least be considered for mention in this article's discussion of related emotions , as a synonym of freudenschade . This word appears in an article from the Wall Street Journal (12 June 2015) . That article cites references , including a scholarly 2014 paper by Harvard psychologist Dr. Mina Cikara , who also authored a (possibly) related article at the Washington Post (27 Aug 2014) , and other contemporary and earlier uses . The WSJ article states that Dr. Charles Baxter says he invented the word (it appeared in one of his short stories in a 1983 book) but that he didn't claim to be the originator ... An earlier 1983 use was found in a weekly California newspaper , the Anderson Valley Advertiser .

To my amusement , I found that the WSJ article (available from the above cited link only to subscribers) was kindly reprinted in the Anderson Valley Advertiser (14 June 2015 , just below the poem) .

A google (news) search on gluckschmerz , which pointed me to the Washington Post article mentioned above , also turned up articles by the New Yorker (19 Mar 2015) , the Atlantic (17 Mar 2018) , and Forbes (21 Nov 2018) ... just in the first 10 returned links . Subsequent links include an earlier (27 Nov 2014) Wall Street Journal article , and 2 more newspaper articles - dailytelegraph , and theguardian - both published in 2016 (and discussing Australian subjects) . However , I did not find any Canadian or British articles in this search .

Lastly , I (among about 8 million other TV viewers) was exposed to the word gluckschmerz when it's meaning was explained by a character on the CBS-TV show Mom that originally aired 09 May 2019 .

Perhaps there are now reasons enough for a wikipedia editor to include gluckschmerz in the related emotions section of the article page . Mark T. mgt220 A yahoo dt com (talk) 14:35, 30 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I've added information on Gluckschmerz to the article. Keep in mind that you could have added that information yourself, too! --Macrakis (talk) 16:51, 3 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

section is synthesis[edit]

I am concerned that the section, "Literary usage and philosophical analysis" is synthesis in that it puts together information from multiple sources to reach a conclusion that is not stated explicitly by any of the sources. For example, the Book of Proverbs makes no such connection - or mention of - schadenfreude, so it cannot be connected, unless a citation explicitly connecting the two can be made. Can I get some input on what other folk think about this? - Arcayne (cast a spell) 16:01, 2 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think it is inappropriate to have speculative interpretation of Bible passages included anywhere in Wikipedia, even if I agreed with the interpretation. And I do not. Jonsuiter (talk) 18:15, 10 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I agree,a nd have been waiting for someone to weigh in. It has been removed. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 21:21, 10 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Somebody has since added it back in. I really don't know why it's there in the first place, other than maybe being an ancient reference to command AGAINST Schadenfreude. WillieBlues (talk) 16:27, 14 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

The section provides useful and relevant information about historical and literary treatment of the emotion described by the word "schadenfreude." It does not reach any conclusion about the Bible passage or any other source mentioned except that an emotion described is similar to that currently described by the word "schadenfreude." betsythedevine (talk) 10:31, 11 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

List is extremely unencyclopedic[edit]

(Justifying the removal of the list) To quote just a few (official) Wikipedia Policies I think apply here:

- Articles are about "a person, or a people, a concept, a place, an event, a thing etc. that their title can denote. The article octopus is about the animal: its physiology, its use as food, its scientific classification, and so forth." NOT about "the word 'octopus': its part of speech, its pluralizations, its usage, its etymology, its translations into other languages, and so forth." Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary Usage and etymology are only acceptable here because it is a loanword and they lend to the context and subject matter of the article directly. The translations do not.
- "Wikipedia is not a [translation] dictionary [...] The goal of this project is to create an encyclopedia."
- "Wikipedia is not in the business of saying how words, idioms, phrases etc., should be used" [in other languages or places], unless fundamentally necessary to the context of the article.
- Wikipedia is not "a complete exposition of all possible details" or an "indiscriminate collection of information."

That's simply from What Wikipedia is not. Some Original Research rules are also being missed out on here. Many other comments on this talk page regard the inherent unreliability and controversy surrounding such a list. I'm removing the list until/unless someone justifies or cites it (or somehow makes it otherwise acceptable). Translation lists such as this have been removed quickly from other articles; perhaps if someone would like, they may figure out how to add this information to Wiktionary (I'm not sure if it's even appropriate there, though). Some of them will be appropriate for Wikiquote, if somebody wants to start an article for Schadenfreude there.

I will leave it here for the further reference of those interested: (talk) 03:11, 9 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

P.S. Plus look below for some I've bolded which don't directly relate to the concept at hand, but are in fact quite different. There are some that mean the opposite. Plus some that are just a different idea altogether (eg. Romanian). Estonian doesn't even explain! Plus, a bunch of other ones just basically assert "Schadenfreude is enjoyable!" (talk) 03:23, 9 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Expressions in other languages

  • Arabic, the word "shamateh" (شماتة) exactly corresponds to "deriving joy from the misfortune that befalls on others". In a poem attributed to ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, he warns that "And do not complain to the enemies constantly - For the enemies' "shamateh" is a disease - And do not ask forgiveness from someone who lacks generosity - For there is no water for the thirsty in a fire".
  • Chinese, the phrase xìngzāi lèhuò (simplified Chinese: 幸灾乐祸; traditional Chinese: 幸災樂禍) is an old idiom that directly translates to "enjoying (other's) calamity (and) laughing at (other's) misfortune".
  • Danish: Egen lykke er at foretrække men andres ulykke er dog ikke at foragte: "(One's) own happiness is to be preferred, but the misfortune of others should not be scorned."
  • Danish: Der er ingen fryd som skadefryd: "There is no glee like schadenfreude."
  • Dutch: Geen schoner vermaak dan leedvermaak proverb: "No pleasure more beautiful than schadenfreude." (Proverb, often used ironically).
  • German: Neid zu fühlen ist menschlich, Schadenfreude zu genießen teuflisch: "To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish." (Arthur Schopenhauer)
  • German: Schadenfreude ist die schönste Freude: "Schadenfreude is the best form of joy." Often used ironically to criticize somebody's display of schadenfreude. A modern witticism; the real German proverb from which this derives is "Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude." (Anticipation is the best joy.)
  • German: Lachen heißt: schadenfroh sein, aber mit gutem Gewissen: "Humour is just Schadenfreude with a clear conscience." (Nietzsche)
  • Greek: The word herekakia (χαιρεκακία) corresponds to wanting or enjoying the misforune of others.
  • Estonian: kahjurõõm on kõige suurem rõõm
  • Finnish: Vahingonilo on aidointa iloa, sillä siihen ei sisälly tippaakaan kateutta: ("Schadenfreude is the most genuine kind of joy, since it doesn't include even a drop of envy"). "Vahingonilo" has much the same meaning as "Schadenfreude" down to the meanings of the individual words that make up each compound word.
  • French: Le malheur des uns fait le bonheur des autres proverb: "One person's misfortune is another's happiness". However, the equivalence here is inexact, as the proverb really means that only that one person would benefit from another's misfortune, not actually find pleasure in misfortune for its own sake. A better expression would be "Se réjouir du malheur d'autrui" ("To find joy in another's misfortune" i.e. To gloat) or "C'est bien fait pour lui" ("He got what he deserved") which is to be linked with joy in vengeance, possibly passive.
  • Hebrew: אין שמחה כשמחה לאיד: "There is no joy like malicious joy"
  • Hungarian: legszebb öröm a káröröm: "The most beautiful joy is the malicious joy."
  • Indonesian: "Sukur(in)!" or "Tahu rasa!" is said, expressing Schadenfreude.
  • Japanese, the phrase 他人の不幸は蜜の味 (tanin no fukō wa mitsu no aji), translates literally as "others' misfortunes are the taste of honey."
  • Korean: 고소하다 gosohada, literally translated means "to smell or taste sesame oil", (a pleasant after taste) because in Korea the smell of sesame oil is regarded as very pleasant, this phrase also is used when one is pleased about a particular event. It is especially used when one is pleased about an event involving the misfortune of people they considered to be evened with or unworthy of a pleasure or their status.
  • Malay: padan muka means "fits your face" but the more appropriate English translation is: "You got what you deserved";
  • Norwegian: skadefryd er den eneste sanne gleden "schadenfreude is the only true joy"
  • Portuguese: in Brazil, schadenfreude is usually descripted by expressions, slangs or informal explanations, as there is no specific word in Brazilian vocabulary for this feeling. Pimenta nos olhos dos outros é refresco and rir da desgraça alheia are the most used among Brazilians, meaning "pepper in another's eyes is refreshing" and "laugh at someone else's misfortunes", respectively.
  • Romanian: să moară şi capra vecinului "let the neighbour's goat die as well"
  • Slovak: škodoradosť je najväčšia radosť "schadenfreude is the greatest joy"
  • Spanish: malsana alegría There is not a one word equivalent. There would be something as 'alegrarse por la desgracia ajena', but 'malsana alegría' is more frequent, translated as "sickly joy".
  • Spanish: gozarla (Argentina) Literally "to enjoy someone". The meaning is made clear by the context. Also "placer morboso", literally "morbid pleasure".
  • Swedish: skadeglädje är den enda sanna glädjen "schadenfreude is the only true joy"
  • Thai: สมน้ำหน้า som nam na, can be interpreted as: "You got what you deserved"; "Serves you right"; or "I'm laughing at your bad luck".

Similar terms in other languages

  • Albanian: inat: (inat or inad, spite, ill will, resentment at others' fortune, pleasure from others' misfortune)
  • Arabic: شماتة: shamaatah shamtan, taking pleasure in the misfortune of others)
  • Bulgarian: злорадство: (зло, evil or harm, радост, joy)
  • simplified Chinese: 幸灾乐祸; traditional Chinese: 幸災樂禍 (幸 enjoy[ing]; 災 [other's] calamity; 樂 be happy for/laugh at; 禍 [other's] misfortune/suffering)
  • Croatian: zluradost: (zlo, evil, radost, joy)
  • Czech: škodolibost: (škoda, damage, harm, or loss, libost, pleasure)
  • Danish: skadefryd: skadefryd (skade, damage, injury or harm, fryd, glee)
  • Dutch: leedvermaak: (leed, suffering or sorrow, and vermaak, entertainment)
  • Esperanto: malica ĝojo: (malica, wicked, and ĝojo, joy)
  • Estonian: kahjurõõm: (kahju, damage or harm and rõõm, joy)
  • Finnish: vahingonilo: (vahinko, accident or damage, ilo, joy)
  • Hebrew: שמחה לאיד:, joy, איד, misfortune, based on Proverbs 17:5) (simcha la'ed), also: " מתכבד בקלון חבירו " (see Mishneh Torah, the laws of Teshuvah chap. 4:4).
  • Hungarian: káröröm: (kár, loss or damage, öröm, joy)
  • Lithuanian: piktdžiuga: (piktas angry, džiaugsmas joy)
  • Macedonian: сеир: (зло, evil or harm, радост, joy)
  • Norwegian: skadefryd: skadefryd (skade, damage, injury or harm, fryd, glee)
  • Russian: злорадство: (зло, evil or harm, радость, joy)
  • Scottish Gaelic: aighear millteach: (aighear, delight or joy, millteach, malicious or destructive)
  • Serbian: злурадост/zluradost: (zlo, evil, radost, joy)
  • Slovak: škodoradosť:(škoda, damage, harm, or loss, radosť, joy)
  • Slovene: škodoželjnost: (škoda, damage, harm, or loss, želeti, to wish)
  • Swedish: skadeglädje: (skada, damage, glädje, joy or happiness)
  • Ukrainian: зловтіха: (зло, evil or harm, втіха, joy or happiness)
In french, I think you can use "mauvaise joie" but it's a very old term.
"There is not a one word equivalent". In Spanish there's a word like Schadenfreude, it's regodearse (verb) or regodeo (noun). --Dj 2012 (talk) 19:14, 21 September 2012 (UTC)[reply]


At first I didn't understand the photograph and thought it was inappropriate for the article but it is really a good one. Fixentries (talk) 18:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

So the photo, really? Seriously? I mean the big "Wikipedia is t3h ser1ous resource" mentality has kept it around? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 23 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


What is the contribution of the current image to the understanding of the article subject? -- Fallacies (talk) 08:10, 24 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Schadenfreude is a pleasurable emotion resulting from the misfortune of someone else. Most people experience it to some degree when the misfortune is seen as deserved. The villain who suffers a well-deserved downfall is an occasion of schadenfreude to most people. The point of the illustration is to provide a familiar example of the concept. betsythedevine (talk) 14:03, 24 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The label of the picture fits the article, but the picture is a cartoon character while the caption refers to a play. Shouldn't one or the other be changed so that they match? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The picture depicts a villain being pleased, while the caption refers to him being angry, sad, or resigned. The picture and its caption imply that the villain is a character, and we the readers are the audience. Therefore if we are to believe the caption, we should be happy about him being sad, but he's not sad. Because of this I think that the image and its caption contradict each other. JIP | Talk 18:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Shading of meaning in German vs. standard use in English[edit]

I'm no expert in German, so I'm not bold enough to edit this in here, but I'm told that Germans have a shading of the meaning of Schadenfreude that is missed by most English users of the term.

I've heard from several native German sources (some second hand) that this term is usually associated with the pleasure someone gets from seeing justice done to someone else, that their misfortune was earned. When I've heard this term used in the United States, it usually doesn't have this connotation, the misfortune might be earned or not. JordanHenderson (talk) 13:53, 24 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The touchstone for whether or not to add material to the article is whether or not it can be cited from a "reliable" published source. I personally agree with you that "schadenfreude" in English is acquiring much broader usage, and hence a broader range of meanings, than it had a decade ago. If some linguistic researcher or dictionary says this in print, their conclusions could go into the article with an appropriate citation. betsythedevine (talk) 11:34, 29 October 2009 (UTC
If that is true, then it'd be a case where English doesn't have a translation. Before, I had thought it of a mild type of sadism, but this makes more sense. this article is a bit misleading...Jabberwock xeno (talk) 23:53, 12 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I AM GERMAN so here is a description , first hand

Desription of the concept of Schadenfreude in german language, by a german.

Usage in German Language: The term "Schadenfreude" means the pleasure someone gets from seeing justice done to someone else, that their misfortune was earned.

For example: A man steals an apple from a tree of his neighbor, but the neighbor saw the theft from inside the house ,but unseen by the thief, now the thief bites in the sweet apple with delight, but there is a worm inside, that tastes awful, and he complains and goes away scorning, the neighbor feels "Schadenfreude", that the thief didn't get what he expected. Something like a punishment by the Goddess of Luck ("Tyche","Fortuna") for bad ,unruly or stupid behaviour, or in a more PUCK (Robin Goodfellow) goblin kind of way, that the lazy daughter in Mother Hulda (German fairy tale) gets reproved her idle nature by sending her home covered with pitch, (a german reader feels "Schadenfreude" , about the reward of the lazy daughter from Mother Hulda.)

Second example: A man wants to eat a very hot potatoe, but his friend tells him not to do it, he will burn his mouth, the man laughs about the advice and puts the potatoe in his mouth, of course he burns his mouth and starts to make a lot of fuss, the friend feels "SchadenFREUDE" about the situation of his friend, because he told him before that his mouth would be burned , but the man didn't listen.

"Schadenfreude" is !!! NOT !!! about feeling delight in the misfortune of another being, in terms of the misfortune of a pauper dying of starvation, or making fun about the pains of a dying or wounded person.

"The touchstone for whether or not to add material to the article is whether or not it can be cited from a "reliable" published source." In my opinion that will be almost impossible, because the english speaking world and literature didn't grasp or understood the mental concept and thoughtstructure behind this term, in the first place, so the meaning of the word in germany is different than the meaning that the english gave this term.

Simply said: Schadenfreude in german, is a different word and concept than Schadenfreude in english,today. That happens, if you just translate the words in a different language, but not the right meaning associated with it. Words have always several meanings and connotations. An example is the english word "gay" and its change in meaning. The term gay was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; it had also come to acquire some connotations of "immorality" as early as 1637. The term's change in meaning as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century.[1] In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and occasionally as a noun, referring to the people, practices, and culture associated with homosexuality. The term gay in a book of 1584 is not the same gay in a book of 1989. An author of 1590 did not write that Sir Francis Drake was homosexual,for example, when he visited London in 1584, he just had a merry good time with his friends :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:40, 8 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:44, 8 October 2010 (UTC)[reply] 
I think that is wrong: The most common German dictionary defines "Schadenfreude" as the "evil pleasure derived of the misfortune of others". (talk)

too bad you are dismissing the longer explanation as this is, in fact, the correct way in which the word is used in german. an brief look into the abbreviated duden does not do it justice. such superficial translations are possibly the reason 'schadenfreude' is rather misunderstood and, hence, misquoted.

in german, schadenfreude ‘occurs’ within a context - meaning that the person suffering the schadenfreude of others 'earned' this in some shape of form. this could be an adversary, a politician, a celebrity or any other known person perceived as arrogant, deceitful or simply obnoxious etc… in other words: if mother teresa had tripped and fallen during her lifetime, schadenfreude would not have been expressed.

the german wikipedia adds at least that: "Schadenfreude scheint eine dominante Rolle beim Erhalt von Gerechtigkeit und der Bestrafung von Normverstößen in menschlichen Gesellschaften zu spielen. In vielen Religionen und Wertesystemen wird sie jedoch geächtet." (schadenfreude seems to play a dominant role in the maintenance of justice and the punishment of norm violations in human societies. it is, however, unacceptable in many religions and value systems.)

unfortunately, the german wiktionary also just uses the abbreviated explanation but adds as an example: "Er sah mit Schadenfreude die Niederlage seiner Gegner." (he gleefully watched the defeat of his opponents.) thus adding a context to the 'glee'. -- (talk) 01:19, 1 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Yes to the above, but i also would add:
-Schadenfreude was indeed used in the broader sense feeling joy from others misfortune, Schopenhauer has been mentioned
-nowadays, Schadenfreude, at least colloquial, is only used in very tame instances of slight misfortunes, when someone stumbles and catches himself, for example. (talk) 20:18, 28 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Schadenfreude vs Gloating[edit]

What is the difference? Contextual examples would be helpful. DBWikis (talk) 20:02, 2 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Based on their definitions, it would seem that gloating is by definition more intense, malicious, and overt than the usually inadvertent emotion expressed by schadenfreude. There some amusing examples of villainous gloating in this non-encyclopedia-quality source: [1] betsythedevine (talk) 20:55, 2 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Likewise, I don't think the antonyms section is right or adds much. I added a citation request. If there is one, ok. Otherwise it sounds like someone's nice theory and we should remove it. clapre —Preceding undated comment added 16:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC).[reply]

Why a weasel word[edit]

Why is the start of the article tagged as a Weasel word?.

This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages, including Danish.

I fail to see why it should be.--ThisSpace (talk) 20:04, 9 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]


As German is my native language, I'm in doubt with this line of the article:

Alternatively, envy(or its German near-equivalent "Glückschmerz"), which is unhappiness in another's good fortune, could be considered the counterpart of schadenfreude.

The word "Glückschmerz" is neither common in German language, nor can it be found in popular dictionaries like classical Grimm's Wörterbuch at http://germazope.uni-trier.de/Projects/DWB or German Wortschatz at http://wortschatz.uni-leipzig.de/ To me it seems more like a rather naive composition intending to build a semantic antonym but failing to do so. Proper German terms for being unhappy in another's good fortune are Neid or Missgunst, the first one being a straight translation of English envy, the second meaning something like malevolence or jealousy. Asking the great Google, I can find only 440 occurences of "Glückschmerz", mostly in English language. Despite it may be "common" in English, it isn't in German and i strongly encourage to change it to "Missgunst". -- (talk) 11:06, 9 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, Gluckschmerz is an English coinage. I've added information on it to the article. --Macrakis (talk) 16:53, 3 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]


Lulz and Schadenfreude are (as near as I can determine) identical. Yet there's no mention of it so couldn't we reference the popularity of Schadenfreude in relation to interent culture.--Lookingthrough (talk) 22:07, 30 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Schadenfreude describes a feeling of pleasure in somebody who observes someone else's trivial and/or deserved misfortune. People who set out to cause grief and pain to others, and then gather on the internet to express their delight in such achievements, are said to be seeking lulz. If you think these two things are identical, I disagree. If some reliable source says that schadenfreude can lead to sadistic behavior, or that schadenfreude is frequently seen on the internet, this article could certainly quote that source. I wonder if lulz should perhaps have its own article... betsythedevine (talk) 18:42, 31 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
They are still related ideas, taking pleasure in others misfortune or harm. (talk) 23:28, 28 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

link to the Russian article in language section[edit]

Link to the Russian article in Language section is wrong - the Russian article has been deleted. -- (talk) 17:46, 27 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Removed. Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 23:33, 29 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

German Pronunciation[edit]

I see there is an English pronunciation of Schadenfreude, but not a German one. I could record it, but how would I upload it just as the English one is? IOA94 (talk) 22:59, 15 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for your thoughtful suggestion-- but material in Wikipedia must be based on published material, not on original contributions by our editors. betsythedevine (talk) 00:33, 16 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think a recording of the pronunciation would count as OriginalResearch (else where would all our audio files come from?!). See Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Pronunciation task force for a guide, and ask at the talkpage there if you need assistance. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:58, 16 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I stand corrected -- Quiddity seems to know a lot more about this than I do. betsythedevine (talk) 02:11, 17 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Calqued by scandinavian languages?[edit]

I am Norwegian with one Swedish and one Danish parent here, hence trilingual and the claim that the scandinavian words skadefryd and skadeglädje are calqued from Germans seems very weird to me, especially not the Swedish word "skadeglädje". Such a claim should be followed by a reference of some sort. The words have existed for centuries in the scandinavian litterature and language and I sincerely doubt it is a calcqued version of the german word "Schadenfreude". They don't even mean the same thing in fact. Schadenfreude refers to a more karma-like feeling where someone who have done you something wrong get exposed to something of a negative nature that could serve as a karma-like revenge. However in the scandinavian languages the words are referring to the more evil and "forbidden" feeling of experience joy for others mishaps, regardless of whether they deserved it or not. Consequently I find it highly unlikely that it's some sort of loan word, it's more likely just words that have been put together (extremely many words in scandinavian languages are in fact two words put together) as a result of a desire to name the forbidden feeling of feeling joy for others misfortunes totally unrelated to the german word, although resembling...

I propose the section claiming

"and has been calqued in Danish and Norwegian as skadefryd and Swedish as skadeglädje."

get removed as it both lack plausibility and reference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:02, 11 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

A good etymological dictionary in any of those languages could solve the question one way or the other of calquing. But since, as you say, no reference is given to support the claim as it stands, I will add a [citation needed] tag to solicit references. If no reference shows up, the claim should be removed. betsythedevine (talk) 00:13, 11 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that it should be removed. There is no proof(or cite) that it's a word-for-word translation from deutsch, most germanic languages just work this way and doesn't the fact that it's a endocentric compound exclude the possibility that it's calqued? (or at least when both languages normaly use compound words as standard and not only in special cases like in english.)

I think that all calques I have seen have been exocentric compounds. Skadeglädje is a type of glädje, but for example pineapple is a calque because it's a exocentric compounds(it's not a type of apple and it doesn't have anything to do with pines).-- (talk) 17:40, 25 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The entry for the word "skadefryd" in the Danish etymological dictionary claims that the Danish word is indeed created from the German, and that the earliest examples of it in Danish are from the 1790s. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:15, 13 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

You are onto something central here. I am sure Skadefryd have a longer use in Scandinavia, esp. Denmark/Norway and that the Germans picked it up during the Hansa period. (talk) 02:45, 6 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Schadenfreude in pop culture[edit]

Possibly add section for references in popular culture Avenue Q has a song about it. Also, in season 3, episode 9 of Community (TV Series), there is a line that subtly alludes to schadenfreude.

CrocodilesAreForWimps (talk) 19:28, 5 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

'Scientific Studies' edit[edit]

Added two additional studies to the 'Scientific Studies' section of the article. Crystalan13 (talk) 13:55, 24 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

COMMENT ON THE SECTION OF THE MAIN ARTICLE BELOW Little-used English words synonymous with schadenfreude have been derived from the Greek word, epichairekakia (ἐπιχαιρεκακία).[2][3] Nathan Bailey's 18th-century Universal Etymological English Dictionary, for example, contains an entry for epicharikaky that gives its etymology as a compound of ἐπί epi (upon), χαρά chara (joy), and κακόν kakon (evil).[4][5] A popular modern collection of rare words, however, gives its spelling as "epicaricacy".[6] MY COMMENT: Nathan Bailey's analysis is almost but not quite right. The Greek word is χαιρέκακος = a person enjoying on others misfortunes out of his own bad temper, without any shade of revenge. χαιρεκάκια, as an abstract noun is possible, i.e. technical derivation, but has been never used. The verb ἐπιχαίρω means 'I am enjoying on other people's good fortune or success'. That means that Nathan Bailey's would be better as chairekakia not epichairekakia. About epicharikaky; it is a bit mistaken; it shoukd be epicharekaky About epicaricacy. Rather mis-connected

COMMENT ON Calqued by scandinavian languages I am not able to comment whether the word 'calqued' is appropriate; it could be just the opposite direction. But Schadenfreude has nothing to do, in everyday use, with Karma and the like. It means just "evil pleasure derived of the misfortune of others" — Preceding unsigned comment added by LeonicosC (talkcontribs) 08:48, 21 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding the calqued thing, according to the Danish etymological dictionary the Danish word "skadefryd" is apparently derived from the German, since skadefryd in Danish didn't become a commonly used word until the 19th century. I suspect the same would apply to at least Norwegian but possibly also Swedish. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:57, 21 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Not necessarily a wicked emotion[edit]

I believe that the tone of this article is too negative about the concept of Schadenfreude.

This is an emotion that we are all very familiar with that helps us cope with misfortune. When someone suffers a misfortune it is not uncommon for a friend to share a story that is similar in some way. For example, when a significant other leaves or is unfaithful it makes a person miserable and he may call his friends to be around him in order to help him cope. The friends will share stories about their own failed relationships that are often worse than what the unfortunate has experienced. In doing so the unfortunate person experiences a bond of shared understanding and is comforted.

Adam Smith talks of fellow-feeling being an intrinsically pleasurable thing for humans. Schadenfreude is a way to establish fellow-feeling with others. It lets the unfortunate know that he/she is not alone, and it could be worse.

Doubtlessly it can be a wicked thing when it is manifested as a form of sadism or even a form of passive revenge against one who has wronged you. Nevertheless, it is not necessarily a bad thing in all cases.

Unfortunately Adam Smith does not talk about Schadenfreude directly so I cannot add anything to the philosophy section about this concern. I just wanted to mention it.

 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Being4itself (talkcontribs) 03:13, 17 August 2012 (UTC)[reply] 

Can I just say thanks to who ever left this insight - it never occurred to me that yes - as given in the example of the pictures of the monks watching another monk suffer - they are sharing a common fellow-feeling and if for example this leads them to understand the other monk better especially if this leads them to compassion or to be able to understand how lucky they are because they are not in that situation themselves. Thats a powerful and complex reading that had never occurred to me before. Thank you! X-mass (talk) 19:44, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Spott, Hohn and Häme[edit]

The article says:

A distinction exists between "secret schadenfreude" (a private feeling) and "open schadenfreude" (Hohn, a German word roughly translated as "scorn") which is outright public derision.

But "Hohn" must not be confused with "Häme".

The mildest form of the three words is kind of "mockery" (Spott), if it comes to disrespect of another person, it's "scorn" (Hohn). And if one is adding Schadenfreude to that, it's called "rancorousness" or "malice" ("Häme").

Jackobli (talk) 18:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

"Spott" is usually reserved for a witty remark bearing (justified) criticism, often identical to sarcasm.

"Hohn" is taking delight in the misfortune of others without regard to etiquette, just for the sake of amusement. "Häme" is a malicious expression of feelings, taking satisfaction in the mischief of another person, often rooted in a grudge. Schadenfreude can be attributed to all three terms, but "Spott" takes it joy from the zinger, "Hohn" from the actual event and "Häme" from the damage ensued by it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 4 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Unspecified "Scientific studies"[edit]

The first paragraph of the "Scientific studies" section contains the sentence, "Other researchers have found that people with low self-esteem are more likely to feel schadenfreude than are people who have high self-esteem," attributed to an article in the New York Times. However, that article just says, "Research has shown that people with low self-esteem are more susceptible to schadenfreude than those whose self-regard is high," without identifying this supposed research by title or author. I believe this sentence should be removed or its reference updated to point to something more credible. Userboy87 (talk) 17:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]


The article was recently made much longer. The new version reads much more like an essay than a wikipedia article. I also think it could be much more concise. For example, the lead now reads:

...pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Borrowed from German into English and several other languages, it is a feeling of joy that comes from seeing or hearing about another person's troubles or failures. It is an expression of pleasure or self-satisfaction at another's failure.

Why do we need to say:

pleasure derived from the misfortune of others
a feeling of joy that comes from seeing or hearing about another person's troubles or failures.
It is an expression of pleasure or self-satisfaction at another's failure.

These seem very very similar. The wording is often prescriptive rather than descriptive: "...schadenfreude should be defined...". The wording is often unnecessarily vague and roundabout: "It was reasoned that if schadenfreude is an emotion that originates from inequity aversion then the termination of an unequal condition should trigger more positive reactions as compared to the termination of an equal event even if the two conditions involve equal gains." This paragraph and sentence starts with an unclear passive ("it was reasoned" — by whom? when?). This seems to be reporting a research report in too much detail. In general, the new version is very wordy and sometimes not even grammatical English. I am not sure if we should try to edit it, or revert to the previous version. --Macrakis (talk) 22:17, 17 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

@Macrakis: Thank you for sharing your insights. It is for this very reason why I'd requested a peer review as well :)
I see what you mean by the language used and I realize that it needs a good hard second look by the original author itself (i.e. me, who expanded it) and would appreciate if I'm given about a day (or two) to ensure the changes are done and the article has better adherence towards the literature of being deemed encyclopedic.
TopCipher (talk) 06:04, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Also, that part of the lead, was there before the article was expanded 5x. Will try to change it to a more appropriate tone as possible. Thanks. TopCipher (talk) 06:13, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Macrakis: As far as I could, I have edited a few aspects and I'm constantly working on finding better ways to improve the same. In the meantime, I've also raised a request at WP:GOCER and hope to work with some editors who may assist with it. Thanks. TopCipher (talk) 11:28, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Topcipher:I'm afraid I've had to remove pretty much all your recent additions to the article. The reason that the article didn't read like an encyclopedic article is now clear: huge amounts of text were plagiarized, verbatim, from academic articles. This is wrong for three reasons: because it is WP:Plagiarism; because it is drawing on individual academic articles which may or may not represent a consensus in the field; and because the style is wrong for Wikipedia. Copying large amounts of text verbatim is never right, even if the source is footnotes (as you did here), and not even if the copied material is put in quotation marks (which you did not do here).
Please review our policies on plagiarism before editing this article again. Thanks, --Macrakis (talk) 22:51, 7 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Semantic field and antonyms[edit]

As the current "Related words" section says, there are many words that could be considered "antonyms" for schadenfreude, in different directions: envy, compassion, mudita. I see no reason that any of them should be mentioned in the lead, any more than we mention antonyms of pride, peace, depression, etc., in their articles' leads.

It is also strange to combine, in the related words section, related concepts (which of course are expressed in words) and related words in other languages. I do think it would be useful to discuss the whole semantic field around related concepts, as discussed in, say, Richard Smith's Envy: Theory and Research or the papers in Schadenfreude: Understanding Pleasure at the Misfortune of Others.

Over-emphasizing the Buddhist concept of mudita also seems like POV-pushing. Interestingly, it isn't even mentioned in much of the literature about schadenfreude. --Macrakis (talk) 14:27, 20 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

What your saying has a point in that yes there are multiple antonyms of schadenfreude, but equally if the article was not called schadenfrede but about the idea of the "enjoyment of others suffering" One schadenfreude would be just one of many such words that are used. Two if such an article was created, the immediate response from the wikipedia community would be to combine it back into schadenfreude and delete the article. Why - because schadenfreude is a zeitgeist word, it popular and thus everything is seen in relation to it.

What I was trying to suggest was that antonyms of Schadenfreude - I have put something in to that effect. If that's still not acceptable can you explain why keeping this information from people is good or is it just an ironic sense of schadnefreude X-mass (talk) 07:50, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Personally I don't think I was POV pushing with Mudita but I can see how you would see that! Personally I use frubbly to describe the feeling I get when I see other people being happy

So I have made two changes. First an addition to the introduction to flag that synonyms and antonyms exist but I haven't listed any. Second I changed the sub-clause from the rather indistinct 'related words' to the more exact synonyms and antonyms and i the process flagging where people can find the range available.

Is this OK with you or can you suggest a better way to do this? X-mass (talk) 08:10, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for your comments. First of all, I really don't understand why it is useful to say "It has various synonyms and antonyms." in the lead of the article. That is true of many concepts, and so doesn't add any useful information. For example, "pride" could be said to have the synonym "hubris" and the antonyms "shame" or "modesty", but it's not useful to mention that in the lead. Remember, Wikipedia is about the concepts, not the words (see WP:NOTDICT). I have split the "Synonyms and antonyms" section into "Related concepts" (much more important than related words, which is what synonyms and antonyms are), and "In other languages". In general, Wikipedia frowns on sections which are simply a list of translations, and if it stays that way, it should probably be deleted. If there is something interesting we can say about the treatment in other languages, then we should, e.g., that some languages borrow the German word, some calque it, others have related proverbs but no word. --Macrakis (talk) 14:09, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

yes many other words have synonyms and antonyms but this is not an average word. What evidence we have from neuroscience suggests that what makes humans intelligent and more capable than other animals is our ability to hold complex emotional states. Being emotional is to be human. Thus words that describe and communicate emotional states are different, maybe not everyone but I believe most people need to understand what their feeling i.e. the synonyms that refer to related conceptions and the antonyms the opposite feelings. Schadenfreude describes a powerful and difficult emotion, one that most of us have from time to time, some us bask in those feelings others feel shame. At its root I think of Wikipedia as hypertext encyclopedia that flags words and acts as a vector to help us understand both ourselves and the world we in habit. I think we can afford a few words at the end of the introduction to recognize the complexities

OK i now understand why you put in related concepts - that is better than antonyms and synonyms, but as i said antonyms and synonyms are useful flags or pointers to help distinguish if what we are feeling is schadenfreude or a similar emotion. However, you have a much better understanding of comparative languages of how meaning shifts depending on its culture and context than i have - so it might be i just don't understand. I certainly became far more aware of how uncertain language and meaning can be as a result of my studies in history, philosophy and especially in law. So I hope that my change made sense but I now understand why you did what you did. Best wishes for all the help X-mass (talk) 19:33, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Counter the Schadenfreude[edit]

German: "Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus" speaks "What goes around, comes around", but literal translation may be more like: "When you shout into the woods it echos back." From https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1296465/Wie-man-in-den-Wald-hineinruft-so-schallt-es-heraus Please also mind notions of poor (moral) character or a corrupt mind, motivated by evil or so! (talk) 17:34, 25 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

First paragraph[edit]

The first paragraph of this article says that Schadenfreude is one of four related emotions, but not clarify what the other emotions are. Vorbee (talk) 21:27, 4 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]

should not this article rather belong into the wiktionary?[edit]

i mean schadenfreude is (a rather exotic sounding) loanword from german. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/schadenfreude and as for a "real english" word for (more or less) the same meaning https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gloat#English covers pretty much what is there to be said about it. the wikipedia article doesnt seem to add anything substantial to what can be learned from the dictionary while at the same time the WP article seems to get lost in musings about whether there should be a distinction between "rightful" or "true" and "uncorrect" schadenfreude/(evil) gloating.

i think the lede needs the above two links added, otherwise a ridiculous notion arises that there arent any native english words to describe the notion of schadenfreude. (talk) 15:11, 15 April 2020 (UTC).[reply]

In media[edit]

Arent Ridiculousness and Jackass just two examples of shows whose primary purpose is schadenfreude in their audiences?

Inconsistent dialect in this article[edit]

In the section Etymology, the word 'pluralised' is spelt with an S -- the British spelling.

In the section Psychological Causes, the word 'hypothesized' is spelt with a Z -- the American spelling.

This violates the Manual of Style at MOS:CONSISTENT. I suggest this article be rewritten, either in American or British English. Besenj (talk) 09:43, 15 July 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Norwegian translation exists?[edit]

It says in the article that there is no translation. In Norwegian there is it seems?

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skadefryd (talk) 21:34, 19 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]

English Word[edit]

Article states that the English word for schadenfreude is 'epicaricacy', however, Wiktionary itself says that its use has been scant, plus Nathaniel Bailey's dictionaries (the only dictionary source) seems incredibly outdated, as the reference list dates it back to 1737 and 1751. It is also not recognised in modern dictionaries afaik.

Plus, isn't schadenfreude also an English word despite it being borrowed?

New user and unsure if I should edit this, so just going to leave this here. Qlovic (talk) 12:28, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]