"Is your wife away" and "Is your wife gone" have very different meanings for me (e.g. at work vs. dead). I suppose that in this sentence is the first one? And how do we distinguish both meanings, then? Thanks in advance! :)
Borte as in "passed away" rarely gets used outside the fixed expression gå bort, literally to go away (where gå is treated as a regular verb). You can use gå and bort both passively and actively, if there is nothing added to bort to tell of a direction or some other action, it will mostly mean "passed away". And understandably "passing away" only happens in past tense, har gått bort, hadde gått bort. Some dialects will use er/var rather than har/hadde but the general rule is the same.
Har kona di gått bort? Has your wife passed away. Unless you are face to face and pointing (= entering a direction to the phrase). Har kona di gått bort allerede? Has your wife gone over already (like she left the house to go to visit the neighbours, and she left earlier than supposed to) Gå bort og spør. Walk over and ask. Jeg går bort, I'm going over.
-If there is an added direction/movement/action, it simply means walking/moving.
-"Passing away" normally only happens in past tense.
Why is 'has your wife gone' not accepted? English tends to use the auxiliary verb 'to have' for motion, not 'to be'. Unless I am understanding the sense of this wrong.
I'd translate "Has your wife gone" as "Har kona di gått". The original "Er kona di borte" doesn't have motion, it is merely "is she away or not". I guess that is the reason your suggestion isn't among the accepted answers.
The thing is, though, that a native speaker would be unlikely to say "is your wife gone" because it's not correct English - "gone" is not an adverb like "away", it's a verb and the present perfect form of "go" is "has gone", not "is gone".
So Angharad is correct - and in English, "has your wife gone" has the same meaning as "is your wife away" (depending on the context, of course).
I live in New England, and I've never heard anyone here speak like that. To us, it's "is gone".
The "has gone" form is definitely the majority usage. The "is gone" form is still used by some, as a vestige of the Old English use of "to be" with intransitive verbs. E.g. Rosetti "Remember me when I am gone away" - not surprisingly, it's an old example.