"Ray-men" or "Rah-men." The food we all know and love, but the question of how to pronounce ramen remains. This combination of egg noodles and broth with bits of meat and vegetables has become super popular, and now there are many restaurants that serve solely ramen noodles. You can get it as soup, just noodles, even as a burger bun, but how can you order it if you don't even know how to pronounce ramen correct way?

The Origins of Ramen

ramen, noodles, pho
Milana Yemelyanova

Ramen is characterized by its use of kansui, the mixture of baking soda and water that gives ramen noodles their chewy texture and yellow color. Although widely believed to originate in Japan, ramen is actually from China. Until the 1950s, ramen was called "shina soba" which is a Chinese word, but "ramen" is a Japanese word. Some people like to debate the origin, but it is widely believed to be from China. The first specialized Ramen shop opened in Yokohama in 1910. 

Instant ramen was introduced in 1958, which became very popular because all you had to do was add boiling water. Over time, many shops turned into more upscale restaurants specializing in ramen alone. There's even a museum called the Shinyokohama Ramen Museum, which serves various versions of ramen. While all of this information about the developing culture involving ramen is interesting, let's cut to the chase and discover how to pronounce ramen. Is the proper pronunciation "ray-men" or "rah-men?"

How to Pronounce Ramen

ramen, soup, noodle, pork, broth, pho
Julianna Romero

The Cambridge Dictionary supports the UK's pronunciation of "rah-men." Merriam Webster too claims the correct pronunciation is "rah-men." To be 110% certain, I even checked Oxford Dictionaries, which pronounces also it "rah-men." The question of how to pronounce ramen should no longer exist, because it is clearly "rah-men."

I guess people can vary in their pronunciations of this food and others will still know what they are trying to say, however, the correct and most common pronunciation is in fact "rah-men." Although there might be many different ways to eat these noodles, there is only one way you should be saying it.