"We do not want to talk about death."
Translation:Ми не хочемо говорити про смерть.
Maybe not the best sentence to ask about this, but I didn't get говорити for a while... so I talked to a few Ukrainian friends and acquaintances, and mentioned the verb говорити in some form. They all made a face and said that this was not real Ukrainian, and it's considered a particularly bad Russism/Surzhyk word—and this circle includes people from all areas of Ukraine, east and west. They recommended the use of размовляти. Is there a particular reason this course uses говорити, and in general, how common is говорити in Ukrainian?
I don't know what they were talking about, it's a colloquial word and is really common.
говорити is an absolutely normal Ukrainian word:
As to the frequency, Google gives 874 000 results for говорити and 595 000 results for розмовляти (search language set to Ukrainian).