Monday, March 25, 2019

Chinese "Demons"

 During the presentation Saturday, when we got to the point at which Mazu is interacting with the two "demons," (妖怪) Qianli Yan and Shunfeng Er, someone brought up the fact that the word "demon" didn't have the same connotations or implications that it does in English. This is 100% true. "Demon" is not a perfect translation for... probably any of the words that get translated as "demon." At that moment, in my head I was running through the possible Chinese words: 鬼 (ghost), 妖 (goblin,spirit),精灵 (fairy),魔鬼 (literally,magic ghost), 神灵 (could be a god,general spirit, or demon)...
It turns out those two were more like monsters, and they were scary (but not necessarily evil in a Western sense) until Mazu tamed them and they began to work for her. Anyhow, in the process, I also discovered that there are SIX PAGES of possible definitions for the word "demon" in my Chinese dictionary (Pleco). Enjoy the screenshots. 

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Magic Beyond Middle Earth -- Slideshow and Notes

Slide Show Lecture Notes