I hear "at ra'a[h]".
It's always tricky learning new, unfamiliar sounds and expressions when we process them against the sounds and expressions that we are already familiar with. I find, for example, that sometimes a preceding syllable can impact how I hear a subsequent syllable. This seems to happen especially often with vowels. In the above expression, the ת can be slightly aspirated too, which might impact how we hear it.
Edit: I suppose there are other factors too, such as, the quality of the audio recording, hardware, software, headphones, etc.; individual hearing capacity or loss/impairment; any background noise in the environment; and so on. I usually try to use good quality headphones when studying Hebrew, especially when learning new material.
Sure, that could be. It wouldn't be the first time I've misheard something while learning a language, even with an excellent audio system and hearing. :-)
That said, second-language acquisition and processing is much more complex than that. That's why I listed a number of additional factors that can come into play. It'll also depend on how many tens, hundreds, and thousands of hours someone has spent listening to "comprehensible input" from native speakers and communicating in the language—not to mention one's background with other similar languages and phonological-prosodic systems. Aspiration, glottal stops, Hebrew-resh, mismatches between Hebrew and English vowels (or other relevant languages), prosodic factors, and the recording quality could also come into play. It takes time just to develop and modify all of the neural structure associated with (second-language) speech recognition and production. It'd be much more telling if a significant proportion or a majority of native Hebrew speakers heard "אתה רע" or alternatively "אתה רעה" (if that's what some are hearing) instead of "את רעה". If not, then the difficulties probably lie especially with being a second-language learner.
Anyway, that's my two cents! The best solution is usually to keep learning and exposing oneself to the language, especially in real communicative contexts/situations.
I fully understand what you wrote. And I agree all of these things are possible under many circumstances. But in this case, I lived in Israel decades ago for my Junior Year Abroad, and I have several Israeli friends. My ability to hear Hebrew is pretty good. I'm doing this program because I can't spell in Hebrew, and I have trouble with remembering my grammar. But I am not a novice.
Thanks, ShoeArt, I appreciate your experience and feedback. I'd have to be in the thousands (rather than hundreds) of hours of listening to Biblical and Modern Hebrew but probably still in the hundreds speaking it at a limited but growing capacity (via Pimsleur; live, communicative video-classes; limited conversations; and the like). Unlike you, I haven't had the opportunity to visit or live in Israel yet!
I think the heavy aspiration on the ת might be at least one significant factor, almost sounding like "אתה". It just doesn't sound like a clearly enunciated "אתה" to my ears. Anyway, sometimes expectations aren't a hindrance but an asset because you always have to filter out noise, imperfect/inconsistent speech, dialects/accents, etc.
if you say it with a whimsically tone, then yes, like - you're so bad! את כל כך רעה! it's actually not a very strong phrase, if you want to say about someone they are being really mean you would maybe use את מרושעת את מגעילה (literally disgusting but meaning you are being really really nasty right now)
Yes, at least it also means "evil" in Biblical Hebrew, along with "badness, suffering, misfortune, destruction, wickedness" as a noun, and as an adjective: "bad, wicked, evil, mischievous, malignant, noxious, hurtful, unpleasant, hideous, unhappy...". My definitions are taken from Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary. Maybe not the best source for Biblical Hebrew, but good enough and on the spot for beginners. :-)
Now I am of course not a native speaker of the modern language, but at least the Oxford Eng - Heb, Heb - Eng Dictionary says that "evil" (adj) can be רע , רעה