Is there any difference between мовити and говорити? I know in Russian that is one word, so got confused.

  • I have edited your question; мовляти denotes a repetitive/contiguous aspect, as the Russian suffix -ива- has. Please roll the edit back if you meant something else. Jun 24, 2019 at 1:46

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There are many quasi-synonymous verbs in Ukrainian that refer to the speaking process: базікати, балакати, говорити, казати, мовити (мовляти), повідувати, повідомляти, ректи, розмовляти, спілкуватись, сповіщати, теревеніти, etc.

Говорити is a general-purpose verb with relatively wide range of emphases:

  • emphasis on the specific information being orally transferred (e.g. with direct object or with the про “about” preposition; optionally with addressee in dative);
  • emphasis on the act of vocalization;
  • emphasis on collaborative conversation (e.g. with subject is in plural or with the з “with” preposition);
  • emphasis on ability of speaking (e.g. with negation or with some language/mode specification);
  • can refer to non-oral information transfer and be used in figurative meanings.

Мовити (мовляти) has much narrower set of meanings: it usually emphasizes the information being transferred and therefore usually is accompanied by direct object or the про preposition. Also (even in it's proper meaning) it's probably less used than говорити, it's probably more a book-style word. (Also in mass media it's sometimes used to denote the process of broadcasting (often without direct object and without про preposition), but for me it sounds a bit artificial, like an attempt to bring a new meaning to an old word.)

BTW, Russian has direct equivalent of Ukrainian мовитимолвить. But while Ukrainian мовити is just a bit outdated (more rare and more book-style than говорити, but still usable), Russian молвить is fully archaic and never used in real life.

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