The Greek that is typically translated/transliterated in English as “demon” is translated in Central Mazahua as “the evil spirit(s) of the devil” (source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).

In Sissala it is translated with kaŋtɔŋ, which traditionally referred to “either a spirit of natural phenomena such as trees, rivers, stones, etc., or the spirit of a deceased person that has not been taken into the realm of the dead. Kaŋtɔŋ can be good or evil. Evil kaŋtɔŋ can bring much harm to people and are feared accordingly. A kaŋtɔŋ can also dwell in a person living on this earth. A person possessed by kaŋtɔŋ does not behave normally.” (Source: Regina Blass in Holzhausen 1991, p. 48f.)

In Umiray Dumaget Agta it is translated as hayup or “creature, animal, general term for any non-human creature, whether natural or supernatural.” Thomas Headland (in: Notes on Translation, September 1971, p. 17ff.) explains some more: “There are several types of supernatural creatures, or spirit beings which are designated by the generic term hayup. Just as we have several terms in English for various spirit beings (elves, fairies, goblins, demons, imps, pixies) so have the Dumagats. And just as you will find vast disagreement and vagueness among English informants as to the differences between pixies and imps, etc., so you will find that no two Dumagats will agree as to the form and function of their different spirit beings.” This term can also be used in a verb form: hayupen: “creatured” or “to be killed, made sick, or crazy by a spirit.

In Yala it is translated as yapri̍ija ɔdwɔ̄bi̍ or “bad Yaprija.” Yaprijas are traditional spirits that have a range presumed activities including giving or withholding gifts, giving and protecting children, causing death and disease and rewarding good behavior. (Source: Eugene Bunkowske in Notes on Translation 78/1980, p. 36ff.)

See also devil and formal pronoun: demons or Satan addressing Jesus.


The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “blind” in English is translated as “(having) eyes dark/night” in Ekari or “having no eyes” in Zarma. (Source: Nida 1964, p. 200)

See also blind (Luke 4:18).

complete verse (John 10:21)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 10:21:

  • Uma: “But there were also some who said: ‘No! A person who is possessed by a demon does not speak like that. A demon couldn’t heal a blind person, right?'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But others also said, ‘If a person is demon possessed, he cannot speak like he speaks. And as for a demon he cannot make a blind person see.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And others said, ‘If he were afflicted with a demon his teaching wouldn’t be like this. The one who is afflicted with a demon cannot cure a totally blind person.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “While others said, ‘Is it indeed-the-case that a demon-possessed-person speaks like that? (RQ implies unlikelihood of such an occurrence) Can a demon do-you-suppose remove a person’s blindness?'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But others said, ‘One doesn’t speak as wonderfully as that if possessed by an evil spirit. Could an evil spirit make well a blind person?'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Other Jews said, ‘But if he were demon possessed, he wouldn’t be able to speak as he does. A demon possessed person cannot cause the eyes of a blind person to open.'” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)