What is Translation?

Legal Definition
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. While interpreting—the facilitating of oral or sign-language communication between users of different languages—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.

Translators always risk inappropriate spill-over of source-language idiom and usage into the target-language translation. On the other hand, spill-overs have imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched the target languages. Indeed, translators have helped substantially to shape the languages into which they have translated.

Owing 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 or to mechanically aid the human translator. The rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated language localization.

Translation studies systematically study the theory and practice of translation.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
The copy made in one language of what has been written, or spoken in another.

2. In pleading, when a libel or an agreement, written in a foreign language, must be averred, it is necessary that a translation of it should also be given.

3. In evidence, when a witness is unable to speak the English language so as to convey his ideas, a translation of his testimony must be made. In that case, an interpreter should be sworn to translate to him, on oath, the questions propounded to him, and to translate to the court and jury his answers. 4 Mass. 81; 5 Mass. 219; 2 Caines' Rep. 155; Louis. Code of Pr. 784, 5.

4. It has been determined that a copyright may exist in a translation, as a literary work. 3 Ves. & Bea. 77; 2 Meriv. 441, n.

5. In the ecclesiastical law, translation denotes the removal from one place to another.; as, the bishop was translated from the diocese of A, to that of B. In the civil law, translation signifies the transfer of property. Clef des Lois Rom. h. t.

6. Swinburne applies the term translation to the bestowing of a legacy which had been given to one, on another; this is a species of ademption, (q. v.) but it differs from it in this, that there may be an ademption without a translation, but there can be no translation without an ademption. Bac. Ab. Legacies, C.

7. By translation is also meant the transfer of property, but in this sense it is seldom used. 2 Bl. Com. 294. Vide Interpreter.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The reproduction in one language of a book, document or speech delivered in another language. The transfer of property ; but in this sense It is seldom used. 2 Bl. Comm. 294. In ecclesiastical law. As applied to a bishop, the term denotes his removal from one diocese to another.
-- Black's Law Dictionary