What does this app do?

This app transliterates Hebrew text, with or without vowels, according to the SBL Academic Style (The SBL Handbook of Style §5.1.1).

Why use transliteration?

Though the advent of Unicode has allowed many scripts to live in the digital world, transliteration is still useful. For starters, many publishers still require it. More importantly, it reveals commonalities between languages that may be obscured because of the script in which the languages are written.

In their native scripts, the relationship between the Arabic word السلام and the Hebrew word שלום is not apparent. When transliterated, the relationship is clearer:

السلام = as-salām ‘peace’
שלום = šālôm ‘peace’

The shared letters ‘s/š’, ‘l’, and ‘m’ show that these two words are related (i.e. cognates).

Why this method of transliteration?

The SBL Academic Style of transliteration is specifically designed to represent all the different consonant and vowel signs used in the Hebrew Bible. A full list can be found here. In this method the focus is on representing the text and not necessarily the language.