"Translation is an act through which the content of a text is transferred from the source language in to the target language" (Foster, 1958).
"Translation is generally used to refer to all the process and methods used to convey the meaning of the source language in to the target language" (Ghazala 1995)
"Translation as a process is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL) " (Catford 1995)
This definition shows that translation is a process in the sense that is an activity receiving inputs and producing outputs. Is usually performed by people through time, when expressions are translated from one language into another different language.
Ghazala's definition focuses on the notion of "meaning" as an essential element in translation. That is, when translating, understanding the meaning of source text is vital to have the appropriate equivalent in the target text thus, it is meaning that is translated in relation to grammar, style and sounds.
In any case the translator needs to have good knowledge of both the source and the target language, in addition to a high linguistic sensitivity as he should transmit the writer's intention, original thoughts and opinions in the translated version as precisely and faithfully as possible.
We should make a clear distinction between Translating and Interpreting, defining the latter as being usually performed orally and in "real-time" as opposed to the former, which is usually written and executed on a totally different time frame from the originating event.
However in our days many of the regular translation jobs are in fact executed online interactively over the internet using a tablet device or a smartphone and so, it is much closer, in time, to the originating action event, almost like an Interpreting job.