Schadenfreude is a German word meaning to find amusement in the misfortune of others. It is the compound word of Schaden, the German word for damage or harm, and Freude, the German word for joy. Schaden comes from the Middle High German schade meaning unfortunate or shame, which itself comes from the Old High German scado meaning scathe. Freude derives from the Old High German frewida which is also a cognate of the Old English word frith meaning freedom and peace. This trend can be generalized as some trauma being juxtaposed with happiness, with Schadenfreude specifically observing the trauma in someone else. Although it can be as equally malicious as sadism, Schadenfreude pertains to simple satisfaction or delight rather than brutal pleasure.
The English language has no specific translation for Schadenfreude, but the idea is still expressed hence its use as a loanword. It is generally considered an undesired quality, even if it is part of human nature.
Taming the Donkey by Eduardo Zacois y Zabala (1868)
Schadenfreude — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. November 18, 2012.
Schadenfreude Mariam Webster Dictionary. November 18, 2012.
Sorrow So Sweet: A Guilty Pleasure In Another's Woe — New York Time. November 18, 2012.