vascotuga251 and marcy65brown are indeed correct. Spanish often uses the simple present tense where English would use the present progressive. When Spanish does use the present progressive (está escribiendo) it conveys a sense of "right now" or "at this very moment" which isn't necessarily the case in English. Therefore either conjugation is acceptable here.
"She is writing a letter for the boss." Does this mean that she is writing a letter that will be given to the boss, or that she is writing a letter on behalf of the boss? I think in English it could be either way, but I was wondering if in Spanish there is a distinction?
"Una carta para el jefe" can also be a letter that's going to be received by the boss. It's ambiguous, just like in English.
(In Spanish, a and para are often interchangeable.)
EDIT: A few months later I don't even know what I wanted to say with this comment anymore. Para means that the boss is going to receive that letter, which can be translated as "to the boss" or "for the boss" in English.
I really wouldn't use "for" to mean "to" here in English. Most secretaries that are doing something for the boss are doing it because he is the boss and has given that to them to do. Isn't there a way to put "to" as the meaning in the answer at the top of this page so that fewer people will be confused?
Not necessarily, there is not a one-to-one correspondence.
Well hopefully your answer was not that short. “She writes a letter for the boss.” should be added as correct. I am not sure though if it should be. I would say “She writes letters for the boss.”, but if there were just one that would not be a generalization or a habitual action and so I would be more likely to use “She is writing a letter for the boss.” I guess I could come up with a scenario to make it possible. “What does she do if the boss wants her to write a letter? She writes a letter for the boss.” This is kind of reaching, don’t you think?
THE FEMALE VOICE GARBLES AND STICKS TOGETHER SO MUCH I CAN NEVER INTERPRET EXACTLY WHAT SHE SAYS. SHE MAKES RAP MUSIC SOUND LIKE SYMPHONY.
TO BE FAIR, MY SON SPEAKS PRETTY FLUENT SPANISH AND IN HIS JOB, IF SOMEONE IS UPSET HE PUTS ON A NATIVE HISPANIC BECAUSE HE CANNOT FOLLOW IT.
It does sound like j or y in different regions. https://www.thoughtco.com/pronouncing-the-ll-3079554
If para can mean "to" or "for" (according to the tap-translation) how do you differentiate between them? Is it strictly contextual or are there conditions where it means a certain one?
Also when I use Google translate for the word "para" I get 11 translations of different prepositions.. that just confused me further
Skizy, that's why it's generally not useful to translate prepositions directly. You should rather look at the purpose of each English preposition and the look which Spanish preposition serves the same purpose.
Para has just four base applications, so it's a good place to start:
It's used to mark the recipient or beneficiary of an action.
- Hice este pastel para ti. - I made this cake for you.
- Una mesa para tres, por favor. - A table for three, please.
It's used to talk about the purpose of an action.
- Leo mucho para aprender la lengua. - I read a lot in order to learn the language.
- Juego para ganar. - I play to win.
It's used to mark the goal of a movement. (Para is interchangeable with a in this case.)
- Vamos para la playa. - We're going to the beach.
- Este tren va para Madrid. - This train is going towards Madrid.
It's used to talk about deadlines and some timeframes.
- Necesitamos los documentos para lunes. - We need the documents by Monday.
- Soy su maestro para hoy. - I'm your teacher for today.
In the original sentence, para is used to mark the boss as the receiver of the letter. You could translate it as "to" or "for" here. But if you say "She is writing a letter for the boss" and take it as "on behalf of the boss", it would use a different preposition in Spanish, por.
Both the simple present tense and the present continuous tense are present tenses. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
No, message = mensaje
This meaning of letter is "carta".
No, it must be "a letter". This sentence has nothing to do with passive voice.
"Ella escribe" Spanish simple present can mean "She writes" English simple present, "She is writing" English present continuous or "She does write" English present emphatic form. We use our English present continuous form more often than the other two, but in Spanish they use their present progressive form only if they are in the middle of doing something at that moment. "Ella está escribiendo" would mean that she has the pen in her hand and is currently writing right now.