Levike wrote:My problem is that I cannot hear the difference between those certain pairs when spoken. If I could then I would probably pronounce them correctly.
It's the other way around. You need to know how to pronounce these phonemes in order to hear the difference between them.
Levike wrote:Until now I think I've been pronouncing /ʌ/ and /ɒ/ as [ɒ].
the first step to differentiate between those is lip rounding - /ʌ/ can't have any, while /ɒ/ is moderately rounded.
/ʌ/ is central, like Romanian /a/, but slightly less open.
/ɒ/ is fully back, like Romanian /o/, but slightly more open.
Some southern UK speakers use a more back /ʌ/, this is also common is Scotland, Norfolk and older speakers of RP. I have no evidence for this, but I suspect that /ʌ/ merges with /ɒ/ in some southern UK speakers, or will do so in the future.
Levike wrote:Probably because those are the sounds that Hungarian has.
But Standard Hungarian /ɛ/ is actually [æ], at least according to some sources. But maybe your dialect realizes it as [ɛ].
/æ/: say Romanian /a/ (your mouth must be really open, more than it feels natural for you), keep the jaw in that position, and say Romanian /e/ without raising the front part of your tongue. There's RP /æ/.
Or maybe just record yourself.