Several English novels insert Hebrew transliterations — shalom, abba, imma, boker tov.
I don’t, and here’s why.
- Foreign words feels like a heavy-handed hint. “This story is about the Old Testament. Get it?”
- They stop the flow for a nanosecond, when I want readers to rush ahead.
- They paint a false picture. Elijah and his Hebrew friends did not insert foreign words in their conversation.
For another “why not” see Dad, okay, um