The attached picture is of some Korean calligraphy, and as a sanity check I wanted to confirm how readable it is. Can anyone tell what this word is, and if so, how easy/hard was it to recognize it?
It is 얌체 (someone who is despicable because they act very selfishly).
I think most Koreans will have no problem at all because the word is a very common one and there's no similar sounding one - in other words, it is helped by preexisting knowledge. Just from the look of it, I might have thought it was 얍체 or even 뱝체, except that 얍 is rare and 뱝 is probably never used. So again, background knowledge plays an important role.
For the first syllable, I see a "얌" but it seems possible for the consonants to be "ㅂ" as well. For the second, I undoubtedly see a "체."
If a syllable has "ㅑ" in it and has a final, it is usually a "야-something." Otherwise it'll sound pretty foreign. I can't think of any Korean words against that.
A two-syllable Korean word beginning with "야-" and ending with "체." At this point, you immediately know that it's "얌체."
It's easy to recognize.