How to pronounce “ramen noodles” in different countries & languages

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  May 25, 2021

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Ramen is not an English word. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal to wonder how to pronounce this word in American English.

How to pronounce ramen noodles in different countries & languages

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ramen is pronounced ra·​men | \ ˈrä-mən. Think of it as rah – men.

The word has the same pronunciation in British English too.

The Japanese word for noodles is men. And ra is the name of this particular type of noodles so the end result is ra-men.

If you’re still having trouble pronouncing ramen noodles, try ra-mihn nu-duhlz.

How to say “ramen” in Japanese

Ramen (/ˈrɑːmən/) is written as 拉麺, ラーメン, in Japanese letters. It is pronounced rāmen, with a long emphasis on the first “a.”

The Japanese pronunciation: [ɾaꜜːmeɴ] is similar to the English pronunciation. The meaning of the word literally translates to “pulled noodles.”

How to say “I want ramen” in Japanese

When you’re in Japan, you’ll come across many restaurants and street-food vendors selling ramen. So, how do you order this tasty noodle dish?

According to a Japanese language course, you say:

ラーメンが食べたいです。rāmen ga tabetai desu. In English, this means: I want to eat ramen.

To order spicy ramen, you say:

激辛ラーメンが食べたいです gekikara rāmen ga tabetai desu. This means: I want to eat super spicy ramen.

How to say “instant noodles” in Japanese

Instant noodles are a Japanese invention, so you should know how to call them in their native language.

Packaged instant noodles are called (ふくろめん fukuromen).

Another type of instant noodles is called cup of noodles. In Japanese, they are called (かっぷめん kappumen) or cup noodles.

There is a difference between ramen and instant noodles. The term “instant noodles” refers to dehydrated noodles with dehydrated vegetables and powdered seasoning.

Ramen refers to a type of Japanese soup made of wheat noodles that are traditionally hand-pulled. The best ramen is made fresh on the spot.

How to pronounce “Maruchan ramen noodles”

Maruchan is a popular Japanese brand of instant ramen noodles sold in the United States. However, people are confused about how to pronounce this brand’s name correctly.

Maruchan マルちゃん or Maru-chan is actually pronounced Meru-Shawn.

Also read: Can vegetarians and vegans eat ramen noodles? These brands yes

How to say “ramen noodles” in Spanish

The Spanish translation for ramen noodles is los fideos ramen (los fi-deos).

Therefore, the word ramen remains unchanged. Fideos means noodles.

How to say “ramen” in Korean

The Korean word for ramen is ramyeon (라면 / 拉麵). Sometimes it is spelled ramyun, but the pronunciation stays the same.

The Korean alphabet doesn’t have the same “r” sounds as the English alphabet. As a result, the R is pronounced like the letter “L.”

When you listen to Koreans talking about ramyeon, you’ll hear that ramyeon is pronounced as “lam-yon.”

Another version is Lāmiàn, but it has the same pronunciation.

How to say “ramen noodles” in Chinese

In China, Japanese ramen is also called ramen noodles. However, the pronunciation is much different.

The word is spelled 拉面, which is Lāmiàn in English letters. The first “a” is long and the second “a” is even longer.

So, you’d say “laa-me-aaan”.

How to say “instant noodles” in Vietnamese

There is some confusion about Vietnamese ramen. But in Vietnam, ramen refers to Japanese ramen and is called by that name.

The Vietnamese type of instant noodle is called Pho, pronounced fuh.

But, if you’re speaking to Vietnamese people or want to order instant noodles at a Vietnamese restaurant, then you use the words “mì tôm” (me-tom).

The bottom line

The word ramen stays the same in many languages. Anywhere you go, people will probably understand what you want if you look for ramen noodles.

However, if you’re looking for instant noodles or other noodle dishes, they have different names in each country.

Done with ramen now? Here are 43 of the best, most delicious & unusual Asian food to Try

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.