"Si es posible, él también puede cambiar la orientación de la mesa."
Translation:If possible, he can also change the orientation of the table.
I can think of a number of real life situations wherein such a sentence would make perfect sense.
You know, a lot of times people need to rotate tables while arranging parties or just while moving to a new apartment. This could be a sentence from a conversation among them.
It probable just means turn it 90 degrees or so. Since a table usually has symmetry and is often longer than it is wide.
Imagine sitting in a restaurant, you turn around and discover the little TV in the corner and see your favorite soccer team playing an important match. But it's umconfortable to watch from your decision, so you ask the waiter if he could help you 'change the orientation of the table' and the chairs as well. (or you could just take a seat somewhere else ;) )
I was thinking the same thing. I would understand if someone said the "orientation" of the table, but it sounds weird to me. I would think that someone would use "position" or "placement".
And, in response to tylerthehun, I would say "move the table" to mean another location in the room; I would not use position, which to me implies keeping it in the same spot, but rotating it.
True, orientation sounds very awkward in this context in english, but as a translation it can't mean anything else in my mind. To me, using position also sounds like a new location. The only ways I would say "change the orientation" would be to turn or rotate. To be more specific I might say orient or align with something, say a wall or a door.
Just because two words are cognates doesn't mean they are the most accurate translation for each other. I'm a native English speaker, and I would only change a table's "orientation" if I were using some kind of CAD software and rotating the drawing of the table to hang from the ceiling or something. In the house, I'd just "move" or "turn" it.
I get your thinking. With a possibility of achieving something AND a permission, the redundancy of effectively saying "If he can, he can ..." is avoided. I can't imagine DL was being that clever though and "If he can, he will ..." makes much more sense, in English at least.
Not a native speaker, but I'm pretty sure:
If the adverb immediately precedes the verb this emphasises the adverb: él también puede cambiar la orientación de la mesa.
The adverb could also be put after the verb to emphasise the verb: él puede cambiar también la orientación de la mesa.
Sometimes the adverb can also be promoted to the start of the sentence to prioritise it, or relegated to the end of the sentence to place the least emphasis on it, but I'd be reluctant to do either with this sentence as I get the feeling it could cause ambiguity.
The only places it definitely can't go are within the object phrase "la orientación de la mesa" or within the verb phrase "puede cambiar".