"Tá tóir uirthi sa Ghearmáin."
Translation:She is popular in Germany.
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I found "uirthi" very difficult to understand, even knowing what it was! I've never heard just "ur" with the "thi" elided.
None. It just happens to be in the Sport skill that "tóir" is taught. Not all sentences/words in a skill have to strictly relate to the skills topic :/
The speaker's slender r's sound like d's to most native English speakers. Enough so that I have actually seen recommendations that native English speakers use a d instead of an r for slender r's, because the sound will be closer. Slender r is not a sound that exists in English, so it will take some work to hear it properly. And she drops the last syllable of uirthi in this recording. I'm not sure if that is common usage or not. But these two effects make tóir uirthi potentially sound like tódar.
No, I definitely don't hear a second syllable in that word. But I find this hard to hear, probably because it has two t's and then 2 r's with a short vowel in between them, so it produces an echo-like sound that I know is confusing me. It also sounds like sa is being pronounced like the English word 'see'.
The first time I listened to this, I had a word bank of options and I went with 'Tá tóir sa Ghearmáin' because I wasn't sure if I was really hearing the second r and none of the options made any sense to me. I couldn't remember what tóir meant, so it seemed plausible as a sentence.
There's no question that it is not easy to understand the audio in this exercise. But there is clearly something between tóir and sa, and it certainly doesn't sound like a "d" to me.
If you would like to listen more carefully, you can access the audio directly at this link. You can slow the audio down in many media players, and in some web browsers.
I'm not sure what you think a slender r sounds like, but here are some exercises where you can hear the slender r, for comparison.
Itheann tú bia agus ólann tú beoir
Bia agus beoir
M' athair agus do mháthair
Is fuath liom droch-aimsir!
Cuireann sé glas air
Léann siad leabhair
I listened to it slowed down by a factor of 3, 4, and 5 and now I am certain there is no sound between the r of uirthi and the s of sa. Of course, the problem with approximants is that they can blend with vowels. So I am certain that the r sound continues right up to when the s sound starts, but that doesn't definitely mean there isn't a syllable in there. But there is a noticeable break between the slender r and the broad r, so I would expect there to be one between the broad r and the s.
I can clearly hear the vowel before sa. It is short, but it is not simply the tail end of the r.
I think your expectation that there should be a noticeable break between the r and the s is misleading you into dismissing the "break" that is actually there, though it isn't a break as such, as Irish doesn't require an actual break between spoken words.
In these phrases 'tóir' is 'popular' but in many comments I see people using 'keen'. Foclóir.ie has 'a bheith tóir air' for 'popular' and Teanglann defines 'tóir' as pursuit, but does have 'Tá tóir ar spórt acu, they are keen on sport'. Are these sentences in Duoling standard usage?
Note that "in these phrases", it is tóir ar, not just tóir that gives the meaning "popular". This has nothing to do with "Duoling standard usage", that's the way that the phrase is understood by Irish speakers generally.
Both "popular" and "keen" are adjectives, but they work in different ways - "they are keen on sport" = "sport is popular with them". "keen" is modifying "they" but "popular" is modifying "sport". As the Irish sentence uses a noun (tóir) rather than an adjective, the most appropriate adjective to use in English depends on who the subject of the sentence is.
It might help to think of tá tóir uirthi sa Ghearmáin as "she is sought after in Germany", where the link with "pursuit" is more explicit, but note that that would not be a good translation, because that's not how Irish speakers understand this construction, it's just a handy mnemonic to help you to understand how tóir ar ends up as "popular".