It may sound strange in English, but in Polish the meaning of "produkować" not so broad as in English. See produkować
- to manufacture some sort of goods (work done for living by a person, or production of some company)
- (speaking about an organism or organ of body) to produce some sort of secretion
- (scorning) to create something
produkować się ("produce oneself")
- (colloquial) to give show, to show off
to say 'the man makes caps' would actually be even more confusing, because it would rather translate to Polish 'mężczyzna robi czapki' - this could mean that he makes them for himself or his dog, while 'produkuje' clearly implies it's his job and the caps are for sale. so 'produces' vs 'makes' is probably the best way to preserve this distinction.
Hmm, I can see that's an issue. I think possibly it's partly the continuous tense that makes it sound weird; if you say "the man produces caps", that sounds less weird to me. Still possibly odd, but less weird. I'm not sure why it seems less odd, I have to be honest.
Manufactures? I'm not sure.
hmm, I only now noticed that it's continuous. I don't know what to think about this anymore.
'manufactures' makes it sound like the caps are free-range and gluten-free, but that's again because Polish 'manufaktura' retains the original meaning of small-scale hand-made production. 'produces' feels more industrial-ish. there seems to be little difference in English, though. ah, sorry for meddling, I no longer know how to English (or Polish) properly. :<
I would agree than "the man produces caps" doesn't sound as odd. Maybe "fabricates" would be better?