Word of the day – Arbejdsglæde

Arbejdsglæde is a Danish word meaning literally “work gladness/joy”. There are apparently similar words in the other Scandinavian languages, and also in Dutch (arbeidsvreugde) and German (Arbeitszufriedenheit). The closest equivalent I can find in English is job satisfaction, though this doesn’t seem to have quite the same meaning as the Danish one.

I found this word on Alex Kjerulf’s blog, Chief Happiness Officer, in a post where he discusses some of the differences in work cultures between Scandinavia and Japan, where there’s a word meaning ‘death by overwork’ 過労死 (karōshi).

Do you know if there’s an equivalent to arbejdsglæde in other languages?

This entry was posted in Danish, Language, Words and phrases.

7 Responses to Word of the day – Arbejdsglæde

  1. Thanks for picking up on this – it is a nifty little word.

    If you find an equivalent of arbejdsglæde in other languages please let me know – I’ve been looking for a while and never found any.

  2. Duncan says:

    There’s a similar word in Swedish, unsurprisingly: arbetsglädje. It means the same thing.

  3. David says:

    “La joie du travail” ? Although judging by the hits on Google not very popular.
    Your blog and site are succulent !

  4. Gunnar says:

    ‘Vinnugleði’ in Icelandic is the same as Arbejdsglæde

    Vinna = Work
    Gleði = Joy/Happiness

    pleasure taken in one’s work; job satisfaction; enthusiasm for the task/subject

  5. F says:

    Let’s not leave out the Finnish version of the word, työilo, which follows the same pattern as the the Scandinavian ones.

  6. Joel Linton says:

    I’ve spoken to quite a few people in Taiwan as well as consulted Taiwanese dictionaries and there is not really a solid conceptual word like arbejdsglæde. In my opinion Chinese cultures are not focussed as much on persistent joy but rather on good fortune and luck in response to observing rites — the thought product of Confucianism and Taoism.

    One interpreter who works for the president of the nation of Taiwan told me this:

    have satisfaction from work

    have joy from work

  7. Joel Linton says:

    There might be a four-Chinese-character saying that would match the idea. I’ll still keep my ears out for Hakka or Hoklo-Taiwanese words.

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