"Io ho cambiato nome perché diventava difficile trovare lavoro."
Can anyone explain why this is not translated as "I changed my name because it was becoming difficult to find work" ? If it is "was becoming" should this not then be "stava diventando" ??
One of the most common uses of the past imperfect in italian is to indicate that the action was occurring over a continuous period of time in the past. Often the most accurate translation into english for this notion is the was/were + gerund construction, such as "was becoming", "was occurring", etc.
It is even more often a good translation when the past imperfect appears in a subordinate clause, as in this case.