When you become comfortable in Hebrew, you develop a sense for its patterns. If a word is past tense or present tense, for example, you know what its vowels will sound like. Dipthongs or consonant clusters (which pepper English) are rare in Hebrew, so between almost every consonant there will be one vowel-- which your brain starts to automatically insert.
We even insert vowels into acronyms. The acronym for Torah, Neviim, Ctuvim-- the complete Hebrew Bible (pentateuch, prophets, writings)-- is not "T.N.C" but "TaNaCh." Tzava HaHagana LeYisrael -- the Army for the Defense of Israel-- becomes TzaHaL. Chutz LaAretz-- Outside the Land (i.e., anywhere not Israel)-- is Chul. You also know that what will be a hard "p" at the start of a word will be a soft "f" at a word's end. Hebrew makes sense. Vowels appear naturally, where they fit.
This breaks down when you run into Hebrish (Engrew, if you prefer)... English words that have been adopted into Hebrew or simply written in Hebrew characters. Whenever I struggle to read a word, I usually realize in the end that it's English. How good are you at reading Hebrish? The good news is that you don't even need Hebrew skills to try to read these, for the most part-- you just need to learn the aleph-bet!
- (Hint-- a צ with an apostrophe after it makes a "ch" sound)
- (Hint-- a ג followed by an apostrophe makes a "j" sound.)
- (The first word is Hebrew-- "hachi," meaning "the most. The second word is based on an English word.)
- (This is a tricky one, but I had to fit my Israeli Amazing Race obsession in somewhere. The Hebrish word is highlighted, and if you think about how reality shows work you can probably figure it out.)
- (The first word is a name. The Hebrew is second.)
- (Related to #11!)