This paper identifies different situations which give rise to translation from the indigenous African languages. The relationship between language and thought on one hand and between language and culture on the other is fully discussed. Also stressed in the paper is the role of language in promoting cultural understanding. Attempt is made in the paper to identify different types of translation. As many scholars have already written on intralingual and interlingual types of translation, this paper focuses on offering possible solutions to the problem of distortion of African thoughts and cultural values arising from semiotic translation from the native African languages.
Key words: Translation, semiotics, African thought, language and culture.