demon

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.

Satan

The Greek that is typically transliterated in English as “Satan” is transliterated in Kipsigis as “Setani.” This is interesting because it is not only a transliteration that approximates the Greek sound but it is also an existing Kipsigis word with the meaning of “ugly” and “sneaking.” (Source: Earl Anderson in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 85ff. )

In Morelos Nahuatl it is translated as “envious one”. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

complete verse (Luke 11:18)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 11:18:

  • Nyongar: “So if Satan’s country is divided, how will his country stand? You say that I drive out evil spirits because Beelzebul gives me strength.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “So also in the kingdom of demons. If a demon opposes his fellow demon, the kingdom of demons will definitely fall/be destroyed. But you(emphatic) say, I expel demons with power of Beelzebul, the king of demons.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Therefore if the leader of demons drives out his demon adherents/disciples that means that they are opposing/fighting each other and the ruling of the demons will not be long-lasting. You say that I drive out demons because I am given power by Belsebul, the leader of demons.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And if Satan fights against his followers, his power will be destroyed. It is not possible what you said, that by means of the power of Endedaman, I am able to overcome his followers.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “It’s the same also with Satanas. If he quarrels-with his fellow evil-spirits, his ruling will emphatically be ruined. I tell you this because you are saying that Beelzebub is the one who gave me my power to cause-evil-spirits -to-leave.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Supposing Satanas is driving out the evil spirits he rules over, isn’t it so that he is opposing himself? Well, how will his kingdom last? Isn’t it so that it won’t? Therefore it’s not possible/acceptable for you to say that I am able to drive out evil spirits because I was given this ability/means by Beelzebub.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

formal pronoun: Jesus addressing his disciples and common people

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Tuvan uses a formal vs. informal 2nd person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Unlike other languages that have this feature, however, the translators of the Tuvan Bible have attempted to be very consistent in using the different forms of address in every case a 2nd person pronoun has to be used in the translation of the biblical text.

As Voinov shows in Pronominal Theology in Translating the Gospels (in: The Bible Translator 2002, p. 210ff.), the choice to use either of the pronouns many times involved theological judgment. While the formal pronoun can signal personal distance or a social/power distance between the speaker and addressee, the informal pronoun can indicate familiarity or social/power equality between speaker and addressee.

Here, Jesus is addressing his disciples, individuals and/or crowds with the formal pronoun, showing respect.

In most Dutch translations, Jesus addresses his disciples and common people with the informal pronoun, whereas they address him with the formal form.