Calling & Kindling

Позвоните мне! Call me!

One of my Russian lessons this week included the word вызывать [vɨzɨˈvatʲ], which means to call, cause, summon, send for, and various other things. The combination of sounds in this words appeals to me for some reason, which is way I decided to write about it.

You use it when calling for a service, such as the police or an ambulance – Вызовите полицию! = Call the police! – Вызови скорую помощь! = Call an ambulance!

It can also be used to mean to kindle (interest) as in: вызывать чей-л. интерес – to kindle sb.’s interest.

It comes from вы- [vɨ] (out, out from) and‎ зывать [zɨˈvatʲ], from звать [zvatʲ] (to call, to invite) [source].

If you’re calling or ringing someone on the phone though, you use a different word – звонить [zvɐˈnʲitʲ], which comes from звон [zvon] (ring, jingle, chime) [source].

There are quite a few other Russian words that mean call.

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