## Lost in translation

Actuaries have a long-standing habit of using different terminology to statisticians. This page lists some common terms used by actuaries in mortality work and their "translation" for a non-actuarial audience. The terms and notation are those used by actuaries in the UK, but in every country I have visited the local actuaries have used similar notation.

Table 1. Common actuarial terms and their definition for statisticians.

It is interesting to note the different traditions within particular disciplines. For example, actuaries almost always use *μ*_{x} to denote the force of mortality. Engineers, however, call the same thing the failure rate and typically denote it by *λ*. Statisticians, meanwhile, will call the self-same concept the hazard function.

### Comments