The first time I had ceviche was a life-changing experience. This seafood dish redefined the meaning of “fresh” for me, so much so that it's now my go-to for those 100-degree summer days. The lemon/lime marination packs in so much flavor that you’ll be craving it for your next meal (and I’m not one to do meal repeats). Because this dish is so versatile with its endless flavors and sizes, knowing how to pronounce ceviche gets you one step closer to being able to dive into this earth-shattering meal.

What Is Ceviche?

Nike Garcia

Ceviche is widely consumed in Latin America and is most commonly associated with Peru. It's unclear where the word "ceviche" came from, but there are a few theories. Some claim that ceviche stems from the Arabic word "sibech," which means acidic food, while others think it's from the Latin “cibus,” meaning food. Peru's Incan history provides another hypothesis; the word ceviche may have actually originated from the Quechua term “siwichi,” which means "fresh fish." Quechua is the indigenous language of the Andes and most of South America.

How to Pronounce "Ceviche"

According to many Spanish dictionaries, ceviche is pronounced "seh-vee-chay." Because Spanish is the dominant language in Peru, it's appropriate to use this pronunciation. The Collins Dictionary, in American English, also uses this pronunciation. Because the dish does have Latin/Incan origins, you might want to say "seh-vee-chay," but when you're super hungry no one has time to properly remember how to say anything! So speak from your gut and say whatever comes out, or show off in front of your friends and confidently hit them with that "seh-vee-chay." 

If you thought pronunciation was a little sticky, wait 'til you find out that ceviche has three spellings: ceviche, seviche, and cebiche.