I've noticed them translating simple present Spanish into present participle English a lot lately. Is simple present typically used this way in everyday Spanish? (in this particular example, they use 'hago' instead of 'estoy haciendo')
I'll note it did accept "I make a chocolate cake" as an acceptable translation, but gave back "I am making a chocolate cake." as the primary translation.
In Spanish, the present tense is commonly used to express both. English speakers use the continuous form much more than Spanish speakers. Generally, context is sufficient to convey the intended meaning, and explicitly stating the continuous form is reserved for when the distinction is important.
Yes, when you first learn to speak or write English, it may help to think "how would Tarzan" say this.
For example, if one person threatens another, it's almost always something like this:
Literal: I kill you.
How it would really be said in English:
I'll kill you.
I'm going to kill you.
Please note I do not intend to criticize Spanish. I think it's great! Everyone would know what I meant if I could just say "I kill you" Why did English evolve into a language where we have to use extra words, when fewer words could communicate just as much?
Another example: answering the door.
English: I'm coming!