Translation:How are they cooking?
When it's at the end of a verb, yes. But when it's at the beginning of a sentence, it means the following is a question.
What is the precise meaning of this sentence? Can it be used to describe something that is in a pot and it's being cooked, or is it about someone who is doing the job of cooking something?
In this example it is referring to the people who are doing the cooking. I'll break down the parts of this word: wa= they (people) na= are (present tense) pika= cook(ing) je= how?
To ask how the food is being cooked you could say "kinapikwaje?" ki= subject prefix for something in ki/vi class (like "chakula") na= is (present tense) pikwa= being cooked je= how?
Yes, I know most of the common suffixes, I just didn't know if the word "kupika" could be used as it is often used in English, like in the sentence "What's cooking", or if it is agent centered, so that the subject of the verb always is the agent and never the, experient(? I'm not sure about the linguistic terminology here. Patient?), the thing being cooked. Thanks for the clarification.
The intransitive "cook" is kupikika, but it's rarely used and instead you could use kuiva to talk about food becoming ready to eat.
I'm still not understanding the meaning of this sentence. "How are they cooking?" in English would mean: "How are they cooking; they are so drunk!", or "How are they cooking; the stove is broken." This does not seem too applicable to regular life. I can think of plenty of other sentences that use the word how that would make much more sense. Thank you for everyone's help with this course.