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 Greek that is translated in English as “prison” is translated in Dehu as moapokamo or “house for tying up people” (source: Maurice Leenhardt in The Bible Translator 1951, p. 97ff. ) and in Nyongar as maya-maya dedinyang or “house shut” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).

complete verse (Revelation 18:2)

Following are a number of back-translations of Revelation 18:2:

  • Uma: “He shouted loudly, he said: ‘Destroyed! Destroyed is Babel, that big village! From now on it is occupied by demons, occupied by many kinds of evil things, occupied by every kind of disgusting and hated bird.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “He called out loudly, he said, ‘Destroyed, really destroyed is the famous city of Babilon. Now the hibilis and the demons make it their place. And it is also the place of whatever birds are dirty and ritually-unclean.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And he spoke loudly saying, ‘It is destroyed! The large city of Babylon is thoroughly destroyed. It has become now a dwelling place for demons and bad spirits. That city will become the dwelling place of every kind of bad and filthy bird.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “He said shouting, ‘Destroyed! The famous (lit. newsed) city of Babilonia is destroyed. She has become a haunt (lit. staying-place) of demons, rock-river-and-tree-spirits, and any-kind-of evil-spirits. All kinds of birds also that are considered to be filthy and evil, they are now nesting there.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “He called out at full volume, saying, ‘Defeated now! That famous city of Babilonia is now defeated. Today all kinds of evil-ones/spirits will go to live there and it will be a nesting-place of dirty and disgusting birds.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Very loudly he shouted and said: ‘It is ended. Ended is the city of Babylon. Now it has become the home of evil spirits. It is where nests have been made for the birds who are filthy.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)