Dinka is a Western Nilotic language from the Nilo Saharan language family, comprising five similar dialects and spoken by about 2-3 million Dinka people in southern Sudan.
From the Dinka-English dictionary [source: http://www.RogerBlench.info ]:-
wär / wɛɛ̈r ̈ SWr n. any body of water: river, lake or pond, water well. loc: wïïr.
wɛɛ̈r̈ NEd SWr SEb Sg: wär. n. rivers, lakes.
Hausa (West Chadic): ‘wuriya‘ [‘rushing stream’];
Miya (West Chadic): ‘wər‘ [‘lake’];
Now look at the European river names included in the map below, which is taken from Hans Krahe’s Unsere ältesten Flussnamen [“Our oldest river names”] (1964), and see the resemblance of these European river names to the Dinka words for ‘river’ :-
In addition to the thirty-six European rivers shown in the map above, there are a few rivers in England and Wales with similar names which were omitted from Krahe’s map. These include: River Wear; River Were; River Ver; River Wyre; River Vyrnwy; etc. The Old English word ‘wer’, meaning a fish trap or weir [from which the word ‘weir’ comes]; and also the Welsh word ‘wern’ meaning a swamp or quagmire might also be related. And Latin ‘ver’ meaning ‘spring’ maybe.
This is another example of ancient European river names sounding very similar to an African word for river which is definitely worthy of further research.