"Iain is twenty-three this year."

Translation:Tha Iain fichead 's a trì am bliadhna.

August 13, 2020

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Why bliadhna not bhliadhna?


You mean why isn’t it a’ bhliadhna as you would say the year (since bliadhna is feminine)?

Am bliadhna meaning this year is a set phrase, always used in this form. Original literal meaning actually was in [current] year, similarly an-diugh today, this day also probably originally meant literally in [current] day (although there is possibility that an here originally was the article the).

That’s because ‘in’ in Gaelic can be expressed both by ann an/m and just by an/m – although rarely because it can be confusing since it sounds like a def. article; but you can say an Glaschu to mean in Glasgow instead of full ann an Glaschu. The short form is older (ann was probably added later to disambiguate from the definite article in cases like am bàta the boat vs ann am bàta in a boat).

Notice that this an, am meaning in never causes lenition (in older language it caused eclipsis, which it still does in modern Irish where you have i mbliana for this year).

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