Real Estate Dictionary/Wörterbuch der Immobilienwirtschaft

I picked this up a couple of weeks ago:
Schulte, Lee, Paul (eds.) plus Gier, Evans, Wörterbuch Immobilienwirtschaft / Real Estate Dictionary EN>DE DE >EN, 2. Ausgabe, Immobilienzeitung, ISBN 3 9805824 8 5

(There are other ISBNs too – it seems to have undergone some changes and be about to go through some more, since it appeared in March 2005. Cheap at 69 euros (there is an even smaller version too).

Now it’s on the Kater Verlag site, so I don’t have to post a page or two. I’m not sure what section it’s in, but here’s the direct link. To see the scanned pages, you have to look at Entscheidungshilfe (see icon with magnifying class beneath the description of the contents).

I’m hoping this dictionary will be helpful with vocabulary describing buildings, some of which can’t be found in architectural dictionaries. I haven’t had a chance to test it properly yet. On the plus side I think he has a number of terms that bilingual law dictionaries ought to have but don’t. Notice on that scanned page that one alternative for Wohnungseigentum is commonhold – that latest Dietl couldn’t manage that. That’s an advantage of a dictionary prepared by people directly involved in a relatively narrow field.

Like all law dictionaries, people using it need to bring some knowledge with them. Sometimes definitions are given, but often there are several target words with no explanation of how they differ.

For example:

Kataster: land register; cadastre; plat book (US)
Katasteramt: land registry; cadastral office
Katasterkarte: index map; cadastral map (or plan)

The distinction between land register and cadaster is understandable. I suspect they overlap in some jurisdictions. Collins English Dictionary says:

cadaster or cadastre: an official register showing details of ownership, boundaries, and value of real property in a district, made for taxation purposes.

In Germany the (Liegenschafts)Kataster is more like a very precise map together with a descriptive part, although it does show the situation, size and use of plots, I think. The Grundbuch uses it as a basis.

A few other things that struck me:

Einfamilienhaus (detached) single-family house
(I would have thought it was just a house)

search: Suche, Durchsuchung
search criterion Suchkriterium
searches Law Einsichtnahme in das Grundbuch

But that meaning does not only exist in the plural.

commonhold (GB) Teileigentum; seit 2003 eine neue Form von Teileigentum ( Wohneigentum) in England and Wales; ein commonhold ist Teil eines freehold land (als commonhold land bei der Land Registry eingetragen); als commonhold wird auch das Prinzip verstanden, freehold properties in Teileigentum aufzuteilen
commonhold flat: Eigentumswohnung

curtilage: eingezäuntes bebautes Grundstück
messuage: Law Anwesen; Wohnhaus inklusive Nebengebäuden und Gartenland

Curtilage and messuage were suggested to me by a colleague – they are commonly encountered in conveyances, but for example Dietl has only messuage, not curtilage (one of the things I’d check Romain for first).

In summary, I think this dictionary is well worth its price. Some of the entries may necessitate further research, but that’s the case with most dictionaries.

6 thoughts on “Real Estate Dictionary/Wörterbuch der Immobilienwirtschaft

  1. Regarding “single-family house”, this is quite a common term in Canadian real estate terminology. You also find “single family home” or “single family dwelling” to distinguish it from a townhome, duplex, etc.

  2. Is “single-family home” US/Canadian for detached house? What’s a townhome? And is a “duplex” the equivalent of a “semi-detached” in the UK? I find this fascinating

  3. Is “single-family home” US/Canadian for detached house? What’s a townhome? And is a “duplex” the equivalent of a “semi-detached” in the UK? I find this fascinating

  4. Sorry about the “duplex” post there….the result of an over-eager forefinger and a mouse on its deathbed.


  5. I think it’s worth repeating the entire dictionary entry here for Einfamilienhaus:
    (detached) single-family house; single-family residence; single family home; one-family house; single occupancy house; self-contained house.

    Another synonym that appears quite regularly is “single-family dwelling”.

    Paul: “single-family house” is a standard term of art in the real estate business. It also has the advantage of being immediately understood on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The problem with “detached” house is that many houses are “detached”, in the sense that they’re physically separate to other houses. It says nothing about the number of dwelling units in the house. Say “detached” house to a US realtor and you’ll often get a blank look in return.

    I imagine that “town home” is the same as “town house”, which is a synonym for terraced house that is in increasing use in the UK nowadays as well. “Duplex” can mean either a two-family house (semi-detached) house, or an apartment/flat on two floors.

    We do a substantial amount of real-estate work (funds, property companies, etc.), and have found this dictionary to be extremely useful. Of course it has its drawbacks, but they’re pretty limited. We’d certainly recommend it to anybody who has real estate-related translation or interpreting work. I’d say it’s one of the best G/E/G dictionaries to have been published in the past ten years or so (not that the competition has been particularly fierce, mind).

  6. Thanks for that Robin. I don’t do a great deal of work on this but I do get a lot of calls from an elderly colleague who considers that I should know.


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