Hallelujah is not only a loanword; it is also a compound word, as it is made up of two Hebrew words: הַלְּלוּ Hallelu and יָהּ Yah. Literally “Hallelu” is an exhortation to praise someone or something addressed to more than one person. The old English translation of “Praise, ye” is, therefore, accurate. “Yah” is simply a shorter version of יהוה “YHWH” – the English transliteration of the covenant name of Israel’s God.
Because of the belief that this name is too holy to be pronounced at all (nor does anyone know how to pronounce it correctly, since the original Hebrew did not use vowels), most translators, both Jewish and Christian, decided to simply use the word “Lord” instead, the translation of another Hebrew name for God (אֲדונָי Adonai).
The study of language tells us so much about where we have been, what we have done and where we are going next. Jewish linguistics is a part of a wider field of Jewish Studies.