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How To Say River In Irish

Let’s take a bitesized look at how to say river in Irish!

So, the Irish word for river is abhainn /ow-winn/.

If you wanted to say riverbank you would say bruach abhann /broo-ukh aw-unn/.

The Irish for stream is sruthán /shruh-hawn/.

A mountain stream is sruthán sléibhe /sruh-hawn shlay-veh/.

Mountain streams make a nice pitter-patter – we might say “babbling brook” in English. This reminds me of a rather astute Irish seanfhocal or proverb:

Is é an sruthan éadomhain a labhraíonn go dána /Shay un shruh-hawn ay-uh-dyne ah low-ree-un go daw-nuh/.

Translated literally this is ‘it is the shallow stream that speaks boldly’ – a similar sentiment to a proverb in English that you may be familiar with: ’empty vessels make most noise’ (or the converse of ‘still waters run deep’).

Either way, deep or shallow, all rivers and streams are bodies of water. And what is the Irish for water, you ask? Simply uisce /Ish-keh/.

Did you enjoy this how-to-say Irish language video? Discover our Gaeilge Gach Lá approach to letting the Irish language into your everyday life:

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