Translation:I was in the capital of Italy recently.
There are also other alternate wordings with equivalent meanings — e.g. “I was in the Italian capital recently”, “I was in Rome recently”, etc. — where should the line be drawn? Since the Irish sentence is using a genitive structure which makes the governing word definite, it seems reasonable that the translation should use a similar structure if it’s colloquial in English.
the one issue I have with that us that Italy is definite already in Irish, so it would use that structure even if the phrase itself wasn't meant to be definite, wouldn't it?
My argument wasn’t that it couldn’t be “Italy’s capital”; my argument was that “the capital of Italy” best matched the wording of the original Irish. As I’d noted previously, other English translations are possible as well.
Should it be sa bpríomhchathair to make it "I was in the capital of Italy" rather than "I was in a capital of Italy" (though there is only one)? Or when can I use sa or í?
"príomhchathair na hIodáile" is "the capital of Italy" - the definite article in such genitive phrases goes between the two nouns, not in front of them. ("Bunreaht na hÉireann" - "the Constitution of Ireland, "muintir na Tíre" - "the people of the Country", "Corn an Domhain" - "the World Cup" (the Cup of the World).
As "príomhchathair na hIodáile" means "the capital of Italy", "i (bpríomhchathair na hIodáile)" means "in (the capital of Italy)".
"Bhí mé sa phríomhchathair" - "I was in the capital"
"Bhí mé i bpríomhchathair na hIodáile" - "I was in the capital of Italy"
Is 'na hIodáile' genitive? And does the article 'na' and the presence of the 'h' indicate femininity?