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I've come across a character in a show wondering:

...っとは言った物の...どこから手を付けたものか

This was translated as:

But after all I said, where do we start?

I generally view the 〜た form as past tense, but here the latter does not seem to be translated this way. Why is that, and what are the rules behind that?

Is it possibly related to Usage of doubled non-past tense "た"?

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  • Which た are you referring to? There are two of them in your example.
    – istrasci
    Nov 5 '20 at 21:11
  • Ah, you're right. The latter one, edited the question!
    – F.X.
    Nov 5 '20 at 21:50
  • related/duplicate: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/65750/21657
    – Shurim
    Nov 5 '20 at 23:36
  • I still think this question is valid as the related questions never really gave a reason as to why the past tense is used, nor did they provide any sort of authoritative source - like a page from a monolingual dictionary - for said usage.
    – user26484
    Nov 6 '20 at 9:22
  • @Shurim That sounds exactly like what I was looking for, thank you!
    – F.X.
    Nov 6 '20 at 9:24

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