Long a - short a
You have found a link to 'short '-a-'', 'long -A-' or something similar. You may also want see a more detailed page at Speech sounds represented by the letter A.
Unfortunately, two separate traditions have developed of identifying 'long' vowels. (See Long vowel - short vowel for more detail.)
- A short '-a-' is simply seen as the IPA: /æ/ sound of 'man', 'cat' and 'as' - though the actual sound varies in spoken accents, such as the so-called 'flat '-a-' in north-west England, particularly in Lancashire, where it is associated with the local pronunciation of 'flat cap', which has a vowel akin to IPA: /a/ of German Mann, etc.
- Long '-a-' may be used in two ways (See Long vowel - short vowel for an explanation.)
- As a pure vowel with an element of length, it represents the sound of (RP) 'father', 'dance' and 'bath': IPA: /ɑː/.
- As a diphthongal vowel, it is usually understood as the sound of its name, and such words as 'late', 'name' and 'same': IPA: /eɪ/; but there are many other possibilities, and great subtleties in its precise pronunciation. For more on this, see Speech sounds represented by the letter A.