Literally: „damage joy“, „harm joy“ / a malicious joy over someone else’s mishaps
You know that situation when the bully gets his butt kicked for once? Or when the glamour boy arrives at school with a giant ugly zit on his nose? Or when the bootlicker at your company has a huge f*ckup in front of the boss? It’s about time it happened to them, you might think—and this is the point where Schadenfreude kicks in.
It’s one of these beautiful words in the German language that’s simply not satisfyingly translatable into English. When entering the word into your standard translation tool, they might give you options like „glee“, „gloating“ or „mischievousness“, but none of them really nails it. I have even heard some English natives say that they should just steal the word. Which… they eventually did, as the term „schadenfreude“ is today also found in many English dictionaries.