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その翼はとても滑らかに動くため、まるでコンピュータ・グラフィックスを見ているようだった。

Its wings were moving so smoothly that it almost looked like CGI.

or would a more accurate translation be:

Its wings were moving so smoothly that it felt like I was looking at a CGI simulation.

I have a few questions about this sentence.

Is 見ているようだった better translated as "it almost looked like" or "felt like I was looking at"?
Is this 見ている the act of looking, or is it "looking like"?

Thirdly is the まるで somewhat superfluous? (I don't say this to be critical of the Japanese language I am just interested in the subtleties)

If it is meaning "just like" in this sentence, is that role not also being played by the "ようだった"? Or is that just an established usage -- まるで ending with "ようだった"-- that flows naturally without any repetitive quality? ( it sounds fine to my ear I was just interested in any clarifications )

Lastly, and this question is a bit superfluous, is CGI commonly used in Japanese or is コンピュータ・グラフィックス usually used instead? コンピュータ・グラフィックス sounds a little dated to me, though I found this sentence on Lang8 yesterday. I apologize for using superfluous twice.

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I worked in animation, and these are some of the terms we used. One was デジタル映像{えいぞう} which is a catchall term for digital generated graphics, whether it was 2D or 3D, still or moving. We said 3Dアニメ for 3D computer graphics. Sometimes we said CGI, but most people not in the industry just called it CG. Hope that helps. –  Questioner Oct 3 '11 at 23:30
    
thanks good to know! –  yadokari Oct 4 '11 at 1:39
3  
actually you used superfluous thrice =P –  Flaw Oct 4 '11 at 2:24

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Its wings were moving so smoothly that it felt like I was looking at a CGI simulation.

"ようだ" is not feeling, it's factual appearance. I'd thus go for

…that it looked I was watching CGs

Is 見ているようだった better translated as "it almost looked like" or "felt like I was looking at"?

See above.

Is this 見ている the act of looking, or is it "looking like"?

The act of you watching

Thirdly is the まるで somewhat superfluous?

Natural Japanese is the art of the superfluous. Here, I guess it just adds a nuance like "I was so impressed." You would agree that "so" is superfluous, but not useless, wouldn't you?

CGI commonly used in Japanese or is コンピュータ・グラフィックス usually used instead?

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Generated_Imagery

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