I guess my question was whether saoirse can be translated as both "liberty" and "freedom".
They haven't been accepting "liberty" as a translation for saoirse, though I've reported it at least twice now.
It happens; it takes time for the course creators to review every problem reported to them, determine whether the reported problem really is a problem, and to fix it if it is. Some problems can’t be fixed until Tree 2.0 is grafted in, since Duolingo keeps certain aspects of the courses locked most of the time — even locked to certain types of corrections by the course creators.
In the meantime, you can either enter “freedom” to work with the course as it is, or enter “liberty” despite it not being accepted; if you choose the latter, then you can either keep reporting the problem to make sure that it stays on the course creators’ to-do list (that’s my usual course of action for a similar situation) or stop reporting it.
Another degraded audio rendition with saoirse coming out with a distinct "f" on the front? Is this the dialect?
It's more likely to be your computer - I don't hear any "f" sound in this recording.
I switched from my Dell pc and tested with different earphones on Android devices. Now I can hear it more distinctly and realize that she is starting the first s they way I was taught to say words starting with t and d. So there is nearly no "hiss" sound such as an English word like "sister" would sound in America.
I have absolutely no idea what sound you're listening to, but the only "t" or "d" sound in this recording is in the first letter of "Tá". The initial "s" in "saoirse" is as clear as a bell, and is exactly the "s" that "sister" starts with.
Interesting discrepancy then but not the first that I've had with Duolingo. I tried saoirse on teanglann.ie and the word is clear as a bell. So it's not a degradation of my hearing as I first suspected. I think it might be a technology conflict in the audio coding vs. decoding. The t and d are "dental" consonants in Irish and sound slightly different than American English palatal versions. I thought perhaps she is making that initial "s" a dental version because it follows tá.
it's "oo-ing", but "oo" sound is shortened so that you are hearing "wing".
You can try it yourself - try to say "oo-ing" or "oo-een", and then say it faster and faster, and the "oo" disappears, and you end up with just the "w" sound that is the transition between "oo" and "ing"/"een"