Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text.
Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (ca. 2000 BCE) into Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE.
Due to the demands of business documentation consequent to the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-18th century, some translation specialties have become formalized, with dedicated schools and professional associations.
Because of the laboriousness of translation, since the 1940s engineers have sought to automate translation (machine translation) or to mechanically aid the human translator (computer-assisted translation). The rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated language localization.
Translation studies deal with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of translation.
The word translation derives from the Latin translatio (which itself comes from trans- and fero, the supine form of which is latum, together meaning "to carry across" or "to bring across"). The modern Romance languages use words for translation derived from that source or from the alternative Latin traduco ("to lead across"). The Slavic and Germanic languages (except for the Dutch "vertaling", "literally" a "re-language-ing") likewise use calques of these Latin sources.
The Ancient Greek term for translation, μετάφρασις (metaphrasis, "a speaking across"), has supplied English with metaphrase (a "literal," or "word-for-word," translation) — as contrasted with paraphrase ("a saying in other words", from παράφρασις, paraphrasis). Metaphrase corresponds, in one of the more recent terminologies, to "formal equivalence"; and paraphrase, to "dynamic equivalence."
Strictly speaking, the concept of metaphrase — or "word-for-word translation" — is an imperfect concept, because a given word in a given language often carries more than one meaning; and because a similar given meaning may often be represented in a given language by more than one word. Nevertheless, "metaphrase" and "paraphrase" may be useful as ideal concepts that mark the extremes in the spectrum of possible approaches to translation. “At the very beginning, the translator keeps both the source language... and target language... in mind and tries to translate carefully. But it becomes very difficult for a translator to decode the whole text... literally; therefore he takes the help of his own view and endeavours to translate accordingly.”
A complicated story? Well that is partly due to the fact that it was taken from Wikipedia. It does prove that you need a professional translator to work on your translations. Gone Native Communications.