They make conversation could work in English generally as a sentence:
But again, that sentence changes the verb from talk to make (which is fazer in Portuguese) and turns talk (now conversation) into a noun.
For present continuous in English we use a "present participle" which is formed by adding the suffix "-ing" to the "bare infinitive":
A "gerund" in English is actually a noun masquerading as a verb.
So, something such as, "Talking is not always wise" or, "I do the washing in the kitchen" are examples of English gerunds.
Meanwhile, in Brazilian Portuguese the present continuous is often represented by the "gerúndio" which is rarely used in European Portuguese (the sort of PT that is also used in Asia and Africa).
So, "gerund" and "gerúndio" are false friends.
Anyway, see my answer to Langenth to see why the present participle/gerúndio is not the same as present tense.
No. "They converse/talk" does not mean it is happening now like, "they are conversing/talking" conveys:
- Q: "What happens when your mother visits your teachers?"
- A: "They converse/talk" [about my schoolwork]
The better PT translation for the Continuous Present is:
- Eles/elas estão conversando (BR PT)
- Eles/elas estão a conversar (EU PT)
And (almost forgot), "speak" when used without the reflexive "to each other" would just mean they utter words but not necessarily have a conversation. "Falar" is the better verb for "speak".
- I speak English
- Eu falo Português