"an-dràsta" v "a-nis" – The difference explained.
I've seen people ask what the difference is quite a bit.
These adverbs both mean "now" in some sense, but there is a slight difference in nuance. Here's how I'd explain the difference:
- an-dràsta = at the moment / for now
- a-nis = now contrasting with then / previously (often highlighting something that's changed)
Tha an t-uisge ann an-dràsta, ach bidh i grianach air an fheasgar. It's raining just now, but it'll be sunny in the afternoon.
Bha an t-uisge ann anns a mhadainn, ach a-nis tha i grianach. It was raining in the morning, but now it's sunny.
That may not cover every situation, but I think it's a decent rule of thumb.
In the US, especially in the South, we have a similar expression that might fit this nuance. We use the expression "right now" (similar to "just now") to provide the nuance of immediacy: right/just at this moment. In this context, wouldn't "It's raining right now" be an acceptable translation?