Can this sentence mean both "I was looking as he was cooking dinner" and "I was looking at how he was cooking dinner"? Those could mean two quite different things - I could and would take the first one to mean I was looking (at something else that was happening) as he was cooking dinner (so I didn't see what he added into the soup).
I believe what Brian means is can jak mean how (i.e. the way in which he was cooking lunch) in this sentence, or only as/while? My understanding is that it just means as/while in this case - is that correct? Looking is the wrong verb, by the way; it should be "I was watching as he was cooking lunch."
I asked my team, which includes native English speakers as well as people who have spent most of their lives in English-speaking countries, and they all agreed that both "looking" and its (quote) 'more intense version' "watching" make sense in this sentence. "watching" is accepted.
The problem with making "watching" the main translation is that it would make people translate it into Polish as "oglądał[em/am]", which is rather used for movies and TV. So it makes sense with Jamie Oliver, but not with my dad.
This "jak" here is supposed to mean that I was looking at the process of him cooking lunch, but in a way it could also mean 'the way in which he was cooking', I believe.
Why is "I was looking while he was cooking lunch" incorrect? Surely it means the same as "as"? Also, it is really confusing when the verb is a feminine form with "-łam" but the phrase is read by a male voice. I have to think for quite a few seconds to figure out what is off. Can't these first person feminine forms be made to be spoken only by female voices?
Does this mean that "jak" sometimes is synonymous with "gdy"?
Because "I was looking as he was cooking lunch" means "I was looking (at something that is unspecified, but probably at him cooking) at the same time that he was cooking lunch." If that is the meaning of the Polish sentence, then to my American ears, it should be "while", not "as".
If what I was looking at was how he was cooking lunch (which is what I thought the Polish sentence meant), then "I was looking as he was cooking lunch" doesn't convey that meaning in English.
So, if "jak" is sometimes synonymous with "gdy", then the word bank should have "while" as the default, not "as", because that sounds more normal.