Say I have a word from another language that I am very fond of and I want to just plop it in a sentence without trying to translate it. Should I use italics? Example:

I've never cared for winter sports because I'm friolenta — I get cold easily.

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    There's a lot of discussion about this at this question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/3480/… I go with the rule of italicizing unfamiliar loan words, and leaving alone anything I expect the reader to be very familiar with. e.g. de jure, sambal, ad hominem, natsukashi, champagne, or kučića Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 17:36
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    Effectively, you are "translating" it by providing an inline definition (and if you didn't do that, most native wouldn't understand you anyway). So it's tempting to assume you want to introduce a "new" word to your audience, in which case it would only be reasonable to go the extra mile and tell them where it came from: I've never cared for winter sports because I'm sensitive to the cold - friolenta, as the Spanish say. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 17:37

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Obey your manual of style, either the one you chose or the one thrust upon you. I use The Chicago Manual of Style, which says that unfamiliar foreign words should be set in italic. The exception is proper names so it's Moscow in English and Moskva in Russian, but both are in roman type.

In deciding how familiar is familiar, CMS says that "there are no guides but sensitivity and common sense."


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