Hata is decidely weaker than chata
In Polish it's actually the other way around.
What's spelled "h" used to be, in some regions, even voiced. "ch" never was.
Again, in Polish "ch" and "h" are identical sounds. Period.
Where you hear "harder" variants of the sound is, as I mentioned before, historically among Poles from Eastern parts of the country. And that is only logical as it shows the influence of Ukrainian and Byelorussian, both of which contain pharyngeal-laryngeal voiced "h". Standard Polish language does not.
Not only easterly Poles, dariusz. I hear it here quite often.
Quite often doesn't indicate where the speakers are from, or what variant of Polish they used at home. These are people with roots in the Eastern parts of Poland. Most were forced to move to what is now Western Poland, and other parts.
Again, a Pole will be often able to tell whether a person is from Wroclaw, which is South West Poland. The tale tale signs will be easterly manners of pronouncing words. Sounds confusing?
Not when you realize that Wroclaw in 1945 was populated mostly with Poles from Lvov, which is now in Ukraine.
There used to be a little joke on the subject:
A kaliega to skąd? (easterly manner of pronouncing the word "kolega")
A ja z Wraclawia. (with "L" being the now nearly extinct in Polish, equivalent of dark L)
take in to consideration that a soft vowel sound
There is no such thing as "soft vowels" in Polish phonology. All of them are voiced.