I am going to happy you :)

It just struck me that the Danish word for happiness (glæde) is both a noun and a verb.

So in Danish you can experience happiness (føle glæde) but you can also “happy someone else” (glæde en anden).

As in: “I think this will happy my spouse” (det vil glæde min partner) or “small acts can happy others” (små ting kan glæde andre).

I don’t want to read too much into that linguistic quirk, but it is interesting because it goes to the heart of what happiness is – i.e. very much something we do for each other.

Can you think of another language that has this feature?

Also, the same word is also used to say that you are looking forward to something. “Jeg glæder mig til jul” literally translates “I happy myself about Christmas” and means “I’m looking forward to Christmas.”

5 thoughts on “I am going to happy you :)”

  1. In German Freude is both a noun and a verb: “Es freut mich” = “it pleases me.” But as far as I know it doesn’t cover the “looking forward to” meaning.

    Likewise, in the languages I have a little knowledge of the active form (jeg glæder dig) is a bit unusual. Normally “something pleases someone” like in the German sentence above.
    Could it be that the Danish language is poor in words when “glæde” can cover please/pleasure, joy, happiness, anticipation? Or perhaps in this specific case, haying one word may be linguistic poverty but richness in experience and quality of life?

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