Love your work? Help crowdsource a translation for ‘arbejdsglæde’

Escape member Jonny Miller is a co-founder at Maptia, a startup whose mission is to build the most inspirational map in the world. We love what Maptia is doing (check out their manifesto below). When it launches later this summer, Maptia will be a beautiful way to tell stories about places.

‘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’. Yet amazingly there is no direct translation 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?

The Monday morning litmus test

Have you ever googled ‘Monday morning feeling’? Try it and scroll through pages of posts that give tips on how to avoid the ‘Monday morning blues’. We want to change this! I’m a cofounder at Maptia, along with my two other cofounders, we have always felt a positive set of emotions on a Monday morning. We can honestly say that we love what we do, and feel that we have an opportunity to create something that can make a meaningful contribution. Even after working through the weekend, as let’s be honest, startups don’t really have weekends, we wake up excited to forge ahead with all cylinders firing. The more people who feel like this, the better!

Our experiment

This is why we’ve decided to crowdsource an alternative 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. Once created, we will share this poster with the world in digital format and we hope that it will also eventually be available in print.

Submissions so far

So far we’ve had thoughtful submissions from cartographers, creative culturalists, CEO’s, teachers, filmmakers, designers, coaches, city planners, VC investors, photographers, authors, animators, and journalists. We wanted to extend the invitation to you, ESCthecity readers, to contribute your three words.

To contribute, please send us three different words that describe how you generally feel on a Monday morning and what you do for a living.

The Maptia Manifesto


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