The use of conversate has soared since 2000, mostly in speech and in written records of speech. The term is a back formation from conversation, created by dropping the suffix -ion, and adding -e, to produce a verb form.
Since it has essentially the same meaning as the more common and frequently used verb converse, the term conversate has been condemned in some circles as an unnecessary nonword. And, because the term occurs mostly among Blacks and Latinos, some discussions have become heated and impassioned, turning the word into a badge (both positive and negative) of a person’s class and education.
Conversate reminds us that discussions about modern English must take into account the different types of English spoken in our diverse culture, rather than fixating on “correct” formal usage. When all is said and done, however, the term broadly remains nonstandard English.