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Tutor profile: Hwimun L.

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Hwimun L.
Tutor of 3 years, Insights Analyst
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Questions

Subject: Mandarin

TutorMe
Question:

How is time and tense expressed in Mandarin compared to English?

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Hwimun L.
Answer:

Unlike English which employs the use of auxiliaries and verb inflections, Mandarin is an uninflected language and does not use the same devices as English to express tense. Instead, tense and time is usually understood from the context of the sentence or through certain particles like 了 or specific words that indicate a later period in time.

Subject: Shakespeare

TutorMe
Question:

What significance does this extract from Helena's soliloquy in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" have: Things base and vile, holding no quantity, Love can transpose to form and dignity. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

Inactive
Hwimun L.
Answer:

In the extract, Helena explains what she thinks of love. The first couplets play with the idea of transmutation and the power of love to transform, therefore also foreshadowing the situation that befalls Titania and Bottom. The second pair of couplets uses an allusion of the mythical god of love - Cupid. Sometimes, Cupid was presented as being blind hence "Cupid painted blind". This reinforces the notion that love is matter of the heart and not the mind. Later in the play, Demetrius finally found his true love in Helena instead of Hermia (in which he was initially swayed by her beauty).

Subject: Linguistics

TutorMe
Question:

Why is it complex to define if a certain variety is "language" or a "dialect"?

Inactive
Hwimun L.
Answer:

The first reason the issue of mutual intelligibility, that is whether or not speakers can understand each other, which is seen as a criterion for determining if two varieties are dialects of the same language. This is an issue as one’s ability to understand the varieties that other people speak depends on one’s experience and exposure to other varieties. Another reason why it is complex to define whether something is a “language” vs. “dialect.” is due to the dialect continuum in which the boundaries between languages and the boundaries between a language and a dialect are unclear. An example of a pair of varieties that show the complexity of distinguishing between dialect and language would be the case of German and Dutch. At the borders, the local variety of Dutch and German are closer to each other linguistically than to their respective standard varieties and the people living at the border can understand each other, even though across the country border, both the people of the Netherlands and the people of Germany use standard Dutch and standard German respectively for education and as the standard variety. In situations where the lines drawn between languages are not based on linguistic criterion, it makes it very difficult to determine what is a “language” and what is a “dialect”. Another pair of varieties that show the complexity of distinguishing between dialect and language is the case of Hindi and Urdu. Many linguists believe that Hindi and Urdu are the same language in spoken form. However, Hindi and Urdu are named distinct languages despite being mutually intelligible. However, due to political and religious reasons, the differences between the languages such as the difference in their written script, the source of borrowing for the languages are being magnified for religious and political differences and represent the growing divide between India and Pakistan despite the flexibility of using varieties of these two languages for usage in daily life.

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