Languages in Architecture: Nikolaos Vailakis, Vailakis & Associates Architects

Nickolas Vailakis of Vailakis & Associates is one of the most distinguished and charismatic architects in the island of Crete. Having completed his academic studies in the UK, he designs innovative projects and decorates the island in the way only he can paint! His Facebook fanpage is full of examples of his work! You may find his interview on languages below! Enjoy!


Please give a description of your line of work.

I am an architect, having established my own practice in Heraklion Crete.  As an architect I design and supervise projects varying from residential to commercial and from office buildings to urban design projects. I also design interior spaces.

The architectural profession can be fascinating. Not only it allows a great degree of expression, combining art with craft and technology, but it also has the power to influence and improve the quality of people’s lives. As a result, completing a project can be very satisfying, yet the real satisfaction comes from being able to witness its positive impact on people.

Architecture is not just about designing buildings as three dimensional objects. It is a living experience that involves all the human senses. So good architecture should plan and design spaces in such a way that all of them will serve the needs of their users and at the same time they will evoke the desired feelings.

What is your personal perception of the value of languages in general?

In the globalized world we are living in it is the use of all the languages that brings everyone together in order to communicate. And although there are some languages that are more widely used than others it is essential that all languages are used in this global communication in order to achieve a high level of legitimacy.

What is the value of languages in your field of expertise?

Although architecture is mostly about drawing rather than writing or reading, there is a plenty of bibliography on a different language and thus the access to information relies upon the ability communicate on a different language. What is more, nowadays, there are many cases where the clients do not speak the same language as the architect so being able to communicate and discuss the various complex issues is vital.

_eiphne__7From your professional experience, what thoughts come to mind when someone tells you she/he works as a translator?

First thing that comes to mind has to do with the ability to understand perfectly different languages without the need of translation and all the advantages that this brings, because there are always minor differences between the prototype and the translation. Another thought is that the translator is someone who has been trained and is expert on terminology and is able to translate highly complicated meanings without missing out. Having said that, it comes to mind that a translator keeps educating him/herself on various terms in his/her mother tongue as well.

Where you ever in need of translation services? If yes, please provide more details about the nature of the project(s).

Having studied and worked abroad, in the United Kingdom, I was once in need of a professional’s translating skills, just before I went there, translating my high school graduation degree in English. However nowadays I would like to think that my level of English is of an excellent level. Yet, having said that I am aware that I am not as accurate as a translator because I have not been trained in such a field.

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