klewlis wrote:Actually there's nothing wrong with "have died" in english--"they are dead" could mean anything--that they died 50 years ago or 5 minutes ago. But "they have died" implies more of a "since x, they have died". In our particular case that could be "since you left the land, the people searching for the child have died...". Does that make sense?
Differences between "is dead" and "has died"... well.....
I suppose a determined hair-splitter might take a rock as an example, and point out that "this rock is dead," but "this rock hasn't died." But this scenario only applies to objects which are intrinsically not alive. And there aren't a whole lot of scenarios where we might feel compelled to make the bold assertion that "hey, this rock hasn't died."
There are several famous dieties who reportedly died and came back to life, which means "they have died" but "they are not dead." But these are exceptional cases.
In ordinary cases (not rocks, not dieties) I'm not sure the distinction between the two is useful. Death is both permanent and the unambiguous. Either you are dead or you are not dead (there's not much room for in-between) and once you are dead, that's it, you aren't coming back.
If a person is dead, then it's clear that he has died.
I can think of some contexts where I would prefer "has died" over "is dead," but the shade of difference is trifling. It seems to me that the choice of using one or the other depends on the overall construction of the English sentences, and not on the underlying assertion.
We could try translating the other way around. Imagine St. Mathew is translating an episode of Star Trek into koine Greek. When the evil aliens aim their phasers at a hapless red-shirted security guard, and then Dr. McCoy informs the captain, "He's dead, Jim," how would St. Matthew render that in ancient Greek? [face=SPIonic] qa/natoj e)sti/ [/face]
or [face=SPIonic] te/qnhke [/face]
? Or maybe [face=SPIonic] e)/qane [/face]
If St. Matthew is a purist, he might insist on using an adjective, since the English original has an adjective. But then again, would a speaker of ancient Greek really say it that way?
I'm not sure how to translate this properly into Greek, but don't bother telling me that Dr. McCoy should have said, "He has died, Jim." I'm not buying that.