words for my translation job

Yikuang   Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:31 am GMT
Hi there,

One of my job is to translate articles in Chinese into English. Some of the articles are on the real estate. I've found it difficult to translate terms concerning the styles of houses. For instance, what's the difference between the terraced houses and the block of flats, between a bungalow and a cottage (which is necessarily in countryside?)? when we say we're going to sale our housing property on the market, should the market be referred to as homes market or house market? or else? Another problem for my translation: if a flat has an internal double floors, is there a phrase for it? Is the phrase 'vertically stacked house' meant for it?

I know this forum is not intended for such questions, however, I can't find out other places to solve my problems. I hope someone could teach me, or tell me where I can find some sort of dictionary that will give me such knowledge. I appreciate your guidance.
Mary   Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:29 am GMT
I'm not an expert on real estate or architecture so I'll try to answer what I can.

Terraced houses (aka row hours, townhouses) are houses that are built right up against one another (http://www.findaproperty.com/library/libp0245.jpg). Each house belongs to someone different, they are not connected on the inside, and they are generally two or three stories tall. A block of flats (AmE apartment complex) is a multi-story building where each story contains one or more flats (apartments). A common stairwell and common hallways allow access to each flat. The whole block of flats is owned by a landlord, who rents the flats and sees that the building is well cared-for.

Cottages and bungalows are both small houses. A bungalow is a specific style of house that's one story tall, has a low-pitched roof, and usually a porch. A cottage is a more generic term, and it gives the impression of a warm, inviting home in the country.

The market is referred to as the housing market (at least here in America).

If a flat has two floors, it is two stories tall. However, webster.com says that the word "flat" refers to a one-story apartment, so instead I would say "two-story house" or, in the rare event that an apartment is actually two stories tall, I would say "two-story apartment."
Yikuang   Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:56 am GMT
Hi Mary,

Thanks a lot for your clear explanation. I get more confident with these expressions.
Yikuang   Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:10 am GMT
Hi Mary,

Again, for sure, can we call such a house a two-stories house? ( http://img1.soufun.com/bbs/2005_06/29/1120023418410.jpeg) And if a house is higher than normal for purpose of two stories inside, but it is not so high as the real two stories, can we still call it a two-stories house?
Mary   Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:41 pm GMT
This looks like a two-story house (I'm assuming those stairs lead to rooms, and not to an attic). If a house is extra tall but doesn't actually have a 2nd floor, that's not a two-story house, but you might describe it as having an attic (assuming there is one) or high ceilings.