While the sentence does work without it, it acts as reinforcement of "מי" as the object. The speaker is asking WHO is liked by her. But it's not required because "היא" is obviously the subject anyway. It's like saying "whom does she like" except more common.
If I understand you, you're saying את is the direct object marker in this case(?) If so, that still doesn't make sense to me since מי doesn't strike me as a definite object, but instead as a object that is indefinite by definition. Or are we supposed to treat מי as a pronominal place-holder with the assumption that there are definite objects to be loved? Or a quirk of the language? Help!
You are mostly right. את is the direct object marker, and מי is the direct object of the sentence. From the presence of את, you can infer that מי is grammatically treated as definite. But semantically it acts as a placeholder for both definite and indefinite objects. For example, the answer to this question could be either היא אוהבת ילד or היא אוהבת את החבר שלי.
I mostly agree with Luchtmens. However, when I (native Hebrew speaker) hear "את מי היא אוהבת" I understand it as a question about someone in particular - definitely definite. On the other hand, you can't just omit the את and make it a question about indefinite objects. If I wanted to ask this and allow for indefinite answers, I'd use some other form of question, maybe איזה אנשים את אוהבת.
I translated this as (alternatively): Whom does she like? This was marked as incorrect. But doesn't this also make sense?
Is it just me or does the speaker basically not pronounce th היא. Is that a thing?
I thought the audio was wrong and reported it too, until, too late, helas!, I realized , that, I think, it is probably a case of assimilation*. The same thing happens when you say "What is he doing?" or "What is she doing?", in English. It can actually sound like "Whatsidoing" or "Whatsshedoing". You notice it even more when you ask for someones job or prefession saying "What is he?" or "What is she?" , which sound like : "Whatisi?" "Whatishi". Back to Hebrew, I also noticed that at least in one instance in the course the pronunciation of the word for "going" or "leaving" sounds as if the two כ and ה sounds where the same, so that "הולכת" is pronounced something like "חולחת or "כולכ" Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition as • simi • la • tion 2 [ uncountable , countable ] ( phonetics ) the act of making two sounds in speech that are next to each other more similar to each other in certain ways, for example the pronunciation of the / t / in football as a / p / ; an example of this
© Oxford University Press, 2010
How would you say: "Are you whom she loves?" Because it looks to be translated the same. That's what I thought it said, and a reverse translate in Google (obviously not the best) gave me this את מי היא אוהבת? When I wrote the English (that I have in quotes).
I can hear the היא just fine. He speaks pretty fast but the היא is there.