The impact of real estate translation depends on the type of listing and the format. Residential listings are most likely to need careful translation. It's unlikely that home buyers have a translator at hand to fully explain all the details in the listings they come across.
Think about all the things you might look for in a home or apartment, like sinks, toilets, countertops, ovens, and so on. Think about how hard it might be to translate terms like these:
- Vanity sink, pedestal sink, utility sink
- Composting toilet, low-flow toilet
- Granite countertop, Formica countertop, Corian countertop, marble countertop
- Microwave oven, convection oven, stacking oven, outdoor oven
And what if more than one foreign language is spoken in your local area? You've got to repeat this exercise for each group you want to sell to.
Furthermore, when it comes to real estate language, terms may be interpreted differently by people in different age groups. For example, the word "porch" is commonly used to describe a floored and often roofed area abutting the entrance of a building. But there are many synonyms for "porch," some with subtle differences:
- Screened-in porch
- Enclosed porch