Love Your Work? Help Crowdsource a Translation for "Arbejdsglæde" Love Your Work? Help Crowdsource a Translation for "Arbejdsglæde"
Design

Love Your Work? Help Crowdsource a Translation for "Arbejdsglæde"

by Jonny Miller

July 16, 2013

"Arbejdsglæde," aside from being utterly unpronounceable for non-Scandinavians, is a wonderful word. Roughly translated, it means"to love your work"—or, more literally, to be "work-glad." Amazingly, there is no direct translation for the word arbejdsglæde in the English language. 

Research has repeatedly shown that Scandinavians are among the happiest people on the planet and arbejdsglæde seems to be a brilliant example of how language is directly shaped by culture. What if the reverse was also true and our culture could be influenced by the language we use?

I’m a co-founder at the startup Maptia, and we’re lucky enough to really love the work we do. So we decided to reach out to people all over the world to help crowdsource a translation for arbejdsglæde. We’re asking everyone who loves their work to contribute three words that describe how they generally feel on a Monday morning and will be turning everyone’s answers into a beautiful "Translating Arbejdsglæde" typographic poster.

Life is too short not to spend it doing something you love...

It’s a deeply depressing thought to imagine that we live in a world where "work" is devoid of excitement and synonymous with boredom for the overwhelming majority. Of course, this is not a new problem, it has been fundamentally rooted in work culture for generations. Back in 1949, William J. Reilly, author of a book called How to Avoid Work: A 1949 Guide to Doing What You Love, already had the right idea.

“There is only one way in this world to achieve true happiness, and that is to express yourself with all your skill and enthusiasm in a career that appeals to you more than any other. In such a career, you feel a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement. You feel you are making a contribution. It is not work… to my mind, the world would be a much pleasanter and more civilized place to live in, if everyone resolved to pursue whatever is closest to his heart’s desire. We would be more creative and our productivity would be vastly increased.”—William J. Reilly (Brainpickings)

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Love Your Work? Help Crowdsource a Translation for "Arbejdsglæde"