It does not make any sense to talk about “hard” or “soft” here.
Language can easily be any of these and more, depending on the speaker:
Other variants include:
- a diphthongization of the initial vowel into [eɪ].
- opening the initial vowel from [e] to [ɛ] or from [æ] to [a] or a more central [ɐ].
- nasalization of the inital vowel into something like [ɛ̃], [æ̃], etc.
- various midpoints between [ɪ] and [ə] such as [ɨ] and [ɘ].
- loss of voicing of the final affricate [dʒ] into something closer to [tʃ].
I’m sure I’ve left some out, too.
That’s really too many variants to usefully enumerate here. Moreover, you can hear more than one of them from the very same speaker in different utterances.
This map from http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/ can give you a good feel for the variations just for a word like hunger, where a similar situation arises.
You can also listen to the sounds there, too. Plus those of many other words.
I hope you can see now that it doesn’t really make a bit of sense to talk of “one” pronunciation. There are all kinds of them used by native speakers, each just as “correct” as the next.