We are happy to announce that this year, 2021, Omilo celebrates 25 years!  We are looking forward to celebrating this joyful event with staff, teachers and students, but for this, we will need to wait for the most appropriate “corona-free” moment!

In the meantime, a bit of Greek etymology!
Have you ever wondered what our school’s name “Omilo” means? It actually means “I speak”!
If you already know some Greek, then you now might wonder: Why “omilo” (ομιλώ) and not “milao” (μιλάω)?
Both verbs mean “I speak”, but the latter is more used in the everyday Greek language.

So where does the verb “omilo” come from?  Let’s have a look at the etymology!

In 1996, Maya and Dimitris Andreadis founded Omilo, and chose this name since it comes from the ancient verb «ὁμιλῶ» which back then meant “to associate, to keep company with somebody”, but also “to be a student or to frequent, to hang out”.

Over the years the meaning of the word changed and got other definitions like “to express myself in oral speech, to discuss”. In our days, we use the simple form of “milao” (μιλάω) in modern Greek, but we can still find the ancient form in official or standard phrases like:

«μην ομιλείτε στον οδηγό» (min omilite ston odigo) = don’t speak to the driver. It’s a phrase that we can read on bus signs.
«ομιλείτε ελληνικά;» (omilite ellinika?) = do you speak Greek? -It was the title of a show about the Greek language.
«ομιλώ από καθέδρας» (omilo apo kathedras) = to express myself dogmatically, with the prestige that my place gives to me.

A derivative of the ancient verb was the word «ὃμιλος», which is still in use in modern Greek and means “club, association” e.g. «αθλητικός όμιλος» (athlitikos omilos) =sport club, «ιππικός όμιλος» (ippikos omilos) = equestrian club, or «όμιλος επιχειρήσεων» (omilos epihiriseon) = group of companies.
Therefore, many Greek native speakers are often confused, and think our school is called “Όμιλος” . The word Omilos (όμιλος), is indeed very similar in writing and pronunciation,  but has a totally different meaning;  “club/association/union”.  Although over the years, it feels as Omilo has become “club of many Greek language learners from all over the world”, we still prefer the name Omilo! 🙂


The form «ομιλώ» survives also in words like:

«ομιλητής» = speaker.
E.g. Το κοινό άκουγε με προσοχή τον ομιλητή. = the audience was listening carefully to the speaker.

«ομιλία» = speech.
E.g. Δεν ήρθε πολύς κόσμος στην προεκλογική του ομιλία. = Very few people came to his election speech.

«συνομιλία» =conversation.
E.g. Χαίρομαι που είχα μια σύντομη συνομιλία μαζί του. = I am glad that Ιhad a short conversation with him.

«συνομιλητής» =interlocutor.
E.g. Πρέπει να σέβεσαι τους συνομιλητές σου και να μην τους διακόπτεις. = You have to respect your interlocutors and not to interrupt them.

«ομιλητικός» = communicative, talkative.
E.g. Σήμερα δεν είσαι πολύ ομιλητικός, έγινε κάτι;= Today you are not very talkative, is something wrong?


Exactly 5 years ago, we made this video for the 20th birthday quiz of Omilo! After 5 years, Dimitri’s message is actually still up to date.
Take a look, and under this video, you find the English translation :
English translation;
In 1996 we founded Omilo, a center for learning the Greek language and promoting Greek culture. This year we are celebrating our 20th birthday. We are pleased to see this creation grow and offer truly high-quality services. We would like to thank all of you for the trust you have shown us all these years and to promise you that we will continue with the same love, consistency, and enthusiasm, this journey we started in 1996.

Now that our name is explained, maybe you are curious what Omilo does exactly?
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