かけた <-- dubious meaning

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Aaeru
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu 08.19.2010 6:42 pm
Native language: English

かけた <-- dubious meaning

Post by Aaeru » Thu 08.26.2010 12:19 am

ケーキを食べかけた時に、電話が掛かって来た。
Just as I was about to eat the cake, the phone rang.
Just as the cake was half-eaten, the phone rang.

Is it just a case where both translations are correct? Thanks

Aaeru
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu 08.19.2010 6:42 pm
Native language: English

Re: かけた <-- dubious meaning

Post by Aaeru » Thu 08.26.2010 12:23 am

I found this at Jgram.org
"I think "to almost start" and "to start (but not finish)" are just dependent on whether the verb describes a durative action or instantaneous one.
Eg.
Instantaneous = hajimakakeru "just about to start" ('started to [but not finished] start' is clumsy)"

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two_heads_talking
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

Re: かけた <-- dubious meaning

Post by two_heads_talking » Thu 08.26.2010 10:00 am

In that you have to differentiate with half-eaten and was about to eat, I'd suggest the answer is no, they are not the same. We have had this discussion a few times, please use your search browser for similar conditions.

Just as I was about to eat the cake, as I interpret it here, that one sat down, picked up a fork and just when the fork was descending to the cake the phone rang. In your second example, I interpret it as a person with a half eaten cake, with the fork in hand, and while the fork is descending, the phone rang.

The Japanese you have typed though, is clearly, the first of your translations. Or, as you started to eat the cake, the phone rang.

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