Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 6: 13/16

While, During the time that ~

Verb[ている]+ 間に
Register Standard
使用域 一般
When (A) ている is paired with 間(あいだ) (B), it expresses that ‘(B) is happening/happened within the timeframe of (A)’. These events do not need to be related in any specific way, but the (B) action must happen somewhere within the duration of (A). This construction translates naturally as ‘during the time that (A), (B)’.
  • ねえ、数(かぞ)えている間(あいだ)に話(はな)しかけるな。
    Hey, don't talk to me while I'm counting.
  • 荷物(にもつ)運(はこ)んでいる間(あいだ)に転(ころ)ん怪我(けが)
    I tripped and hurt myself when I was carrying luggage.
ている間(あいだ)に will often be used when the (B) action is somehow beyond the control of the speaker. However, this is not always the case.
  • 旅行(りょこう)に行(い)っている間(あいだ)に家(いえ)に泥棒(どろぼう)入(はい)っ
    While I was on a trip, a burglar came into my house.
Fun Fact
間(あいだ) literally means an ‘interval’, and therefore highlights the (A) event as being the ‘whole’ span of time, within which (B) happened/will happen at some point.
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While my wife is sleeping, I can do what I like.
[during the time that...]
I got a phone call while playing soccer.
[during the time that...]
I became hungry while studying.
[during the time that...]
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 185
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 216
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 68