Conversar vs falar

I came across these two exercises today:

I’m talking with you
I’m not talking to you

The translations provided were:

Estou a conversar contigo
Eu não falo contigo

I think this might be the only time conversar has been used in an exercise instead of falar for “talk”. Is there something subtle being represented here?

And is there ever a case when “with you” and “to you” aren’t both translated to “contigo”?


The first exercise specifically mentions talking with rather than to, so it was a good opportunity to use the verb conversar and highlight its use, even though the verb falar would still work just as well.

With you is only translated as contigo, but to you might also be translated as para ti.

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@Joseph With the added complication that talking with is very much an American usage and not a British one. If I ever hear (out on the street, as it were) talking with rather than talking to I assume non-native speaker.

Eng-Eng usages would be:

I am talking to (most frequent)
I am having a conversation with (rare, formal)
I am conversing with (very rare, archaic)
I am talking with (somebody who watches a lot of American TV)

For me “talking with” and “talking to” have slightly different meanings. The first implies a two-way conversation whereas the second can be either a two way conversation or strictly a one-way conversation, such as a lecture. Largely though they are synonyms.

Of course using the past tense complicates things in English. For the first three we could say:
I was talking to
I was having a conversation with
I was conversing with (very rare)
All implying a two way interaction.

and of course to complicate things in Australia it is becoming more frequent to say:
We need to have the conversation (as an imperative)

Just adding my two Euros worth…

@pwsteele And just to show how much fun there is to have with this, I would say talking at if I wanted to imply a one sided conversation. As in: he was talking at me but I wasn’t listening.