Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

German default


Following up on the previous post, it occurred to me that I don’t know any German counterpart to the English verb “default”, as in, “default on a loan”. After some searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t one. In German there can be a default — “Ausfall” — or the  loan can passively fail — “ausfallen”, literally the loan can “malfunction”, or “be cancelled”. But the debtor cannot as the active subject of the sentence do the defaulting.

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