What does 자장면 (炸醬麵) literally mean?

Answer: Explosion (fry(I am Willow)sauce) the pasta (the pasta)?

The Chinese character 炸 (작) can mean “explode,” as in the Sino-Korean word 작렬 (Explosion), which means “blast”, but character can also mean “fry”. Therefore, since 醬 (장) means “soy sauce” or “fermented soybean paste” and 麵 (면) means “noodles,” 자장면 (炸醬麵) can be translated literally as “fried soy sauce (炸) (醬) Noodles (麵)”.

Some may wonder why the noodle dish is called 자장면 (炸醬麵) instead of 작 장면, since the letter 炸 is pronounced 작 in Korean. Well, since 자장면 is a Chinese dish, it seems that the Koreans decided to use the Chinese pronunciation of the letter 炸, which is /ja/ (자).

By the way, the Chinese word Fried chicken (작계) means “fried chicken (炸) (鷄)” and not “exploding chicken”.

From Dong-A’s Prime Korean-English Dictionary

From Dong-A’s Prime Korean-English Dictionary

Taken from an article on Wikipedia

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