The first vowel in ganhar © is an open vowel, although it is in an unstressed syllable and before nh. Both are normally enough reason for a /3/ sound (as if written â, but unaccented), but not in this particular word. Perhaps the background of this strange un-Portuguese behaviour is in the French origin, from gagner ? Old-French itself has it from a Germanic language. Cf. English gain from Old-French gaaignier).