How is slainte pronunced?

Picture of How is slainte pronunced?

In both Irish and gaelic sláinte is pronounced Slahn-che and means health. Sláinte is infact a short form of Slàinte mhath (Scottish) or Slàinte mhaith (Irish) and pronounced as Slahn-che ‘va. Sláinte or Sláinte Mhath is commonly used as a drinking toast in Scotland and Ireland. As pronunciations vary from region to region it’s not uncommon to hear people say slange or slange Var when they clink their glasses. Spelling variations also abound.

Responding to sláinte

In Irish the standard response to sláinte is sláinte agatsa, which means “to your health too”. The Scottish variation of this is dheagh shlàinte meaning “your good health”. Though other responses are also acceptable:

  • Slàinte mhòr - great health
  • slàinte agad-sa - Health on you!


The gaelic language belongs to the Goidelic branch of the insular Celtic languages and is closely related to both Irish and the Manx related. The close relationship with the Irish language is in part a result of the immigration of Scots from Ireland to Scotland since the 4 Century. However the two languages had begun to diverge before, you can learn more about the origins of the language on our article about the Gaelic language

Other Useful Gaelic Phrases

Gaelic is a beautiful, musical language. Learning a little more could be very useful when going out in Scotland beyond being able to simply make a toast. Below are a few other words to help you out.

Word Meaning Pronunciation
Welcome Fàilte fal-che
Water Uisge uish-ga
Drink Deoch joch
Thank you Tapadh leat tapa-lai-ve

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