"Nasz koń je wolno."
Translation:Our horse is eating slowly.
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They are similar. I would say that "powoli" is often used when you ask someone to slow down (also "wolniej" - slower) or when someone does something slowly and precisely/thoroughly. On the other hand, "wolno" is often used when something is being done too slowly. But generally, they are synonyms.
It is often connotation but you would need some context to determine if this is the case.
I agree with mixal but also I would avoid using adverb wolno with basic form of verb like jeść. That may lead to confusion.
Nasz koń je powoli / Nasz koń powoli je - Our horse eats/Our horse is eating slowly
Nasz koń MA POZWOLENIE na jedzenie powoli/ WOLNO mu jeść powoli/ WOLNO mu powoli jeść - Our horse HAS PERMISSION/FREEDOM to eat slowly/ It IS ALLOWED to eat slowly/ Our horse IS FREE to eat slowly
In general it tries to avoid eating at all. One time I caught it putting it's hoof down its throat.
I think that "je wolno" gives the same emphasis as "eating slowly" - on the 'slowly' part.
Its funny! I live in Podcarpathia and hear Polish mothers yelling and screaming at their little toddlers "Nie Wolno!" All the time. I've become conditioned and hear that instead.
One of the meanings of "wolno" is "it is allowed to", so "Nie wolno!" screamed when the child does something that 'is not allowed' makes perfect sense.
I mean, that's just for others, I know you're not asking about the meaning and you're just saying that it sounds like that to you ;)
It may be usually, so simple present is possible. We don't have any specific situation that demands continuous!