is "Her grandmother just called." really the correct translation here? It seems like a better translation would be "Her grandmother ended a call". These are two very different sentences and I don't see where the "just", as in recent past action, is coming from in the portuguese.
Yes, that's right.
Acabar + de is used to talk about actions that just happened:
- She ended the call = ela acabou a ligação / ela terminou a ligação / ela encerrou a ligação.
- Ela acabou DE ligar = she (has) just called / she finished calling/the call.
But "acabar de" can be also used to mean finished doing something. So, it will depend on the context.
"She just called" and "she finished calling/the call" have two very different meanings in English.
"She just called" sounds like she's not there and she called in: "Have you heard from grandma today?" "Yes, she just called."
"She finished calling" sounds like she was on the phone in proximity to the speaker (or something like that) and stopped calling someone else. Kind of like when you are waiting for the phone: "Is grandma off the phone?" "Yes, she finished her call."
Granted this varies due to context, but no context brings those images to my mind. Can it mean either one in Portuguese? Which on comes to mind first with no context to you if it means both?