I would translate quería as I wanted or was wanting. Thank you.
Quería, as you say, is the Imperfect of querer and generally translated as: "I wanted", however, in Spanish we can also use this form of verb querer, especially in the yo form or nosotros form "quería/queríamos" as a polite request, the same way we would use the conditional form "querría" or the subjunctive "quisiera". This is when you go to a shop, for example and as a client you say what you "would like", e. g. "Por favor, quería una botella de vino blanco", or for example if you go to the bank and say (imagine you are with your partner) "Buenos días, queríamos ver al director, por favor".
So, as well as the Imperfect tense to say things in the past, you can use it as a polite request to say what you would like.
Hope this helps,
Just in the same way with English, one can ask, 'I was wanting to open bank' or 'I was hoping to open a bank'.
That's very helpful. The imperfect can also be used in English to say: "I was hoping..." Does Spanish also recognize "esperaba" in a future context?
Not exactly when you mean "I was hoping to..." as in a request. We don't use literally "Esperaba..." here. We'd stick to "Quería... / Querría.../ Me gustaría.../ Quisiera..." for this context.
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