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Giraffe in Chinese / Japanese...

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Giraffe

China zhǎng jǐng lù
Giraffe

長頸鹿 is the Chinese word for Giraffe (the animal).

Not to be confused with the mythical "kirin" or "qilin" beast.

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

China qí lǐn
HK keilun
Japan kirin
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

麒麟 is the title of a mythical beast of Asia.

The animal is thought to be related to the giraffe, and in some ways, it is a giraffe. However, it is often depicted with the horns of a dragon or deer and sometimes with the body like a horse but many variations exist.

In Japanese it is pronounced "Kirin" as in "Kirin Ichiban" beer.

Kirin - Mythical Beast and Great Japanese Beer!
Notes:

1. 麒麟 is sometimes spelled as "kylin".

2. In Japanese, this is the only Kanji word for giraffe. Therefore in Japan, this word needs context to know whether you are talking about the mythical creature or the long-necked giraffe of Africa.

3. Apparently, this was the first word used for regular giraffes in China (some were brought from Africa to China during the Ming Dynasty - probably around the year 1400). Though the mythical creature may have existed before, the name "qilin" was given to the "new giraffe". 麒麟 is because, more than 600 years ago, giraffes somewhat matched the mythical creature's description when Chinese people saw them for the first time. Later, to avoid such an ambiguous title, a three-character word was devised to mean a "giraffe of Africa". The characters for "qilin" shown here are only for the mythological version in modern Chinese.

4. More information about the qilin / kirin from Wikipedia.

5. This creature is sometimes translated as the "Chinese Unicorn", even though it is generally portrayed with two horns. I think this is done more for the fantasy aspect of the unicorn and because most westerners don't know what a qilin or kirin is (this avoids a long explanation by the translator).

6. In Korean, this can mean kirin or simply giraffe (usually the mythological creature is what they would think of when seeing these characters alone on a wall scroll).


Not the results for giraffe that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your giraffe search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

麒麟

see styles
Mandarin qí lín / qi2 lin2
Taiwan ch`i lin / chi lin
Japanese kirin / きりん
Chinese qilin (mythical Chinese animal); kylin; Chinese unicorn; commonly mistranslated as giraffe
Japanese (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (3) Kirin (brand of beer); (surname, female given name) Kirin
Male and female unicorns; the qilin in general.
More info / calligraphy:
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

長頸鹿

see styles
Mandarin cháng jǐng lù / chang2 jing3 lu4
Taiwan ch`ang ching lu / chang ching lu
Chinese giraffe; CL:隻|只[zhi1]
More info / calligraphy:
Giraffe

騏驎

see styles
Mandarin qí lín / qi2 lin2
Taiwan ch`i lin / chi lin
Chinese variant of 麒麟[qi2 lin2]; qilin (mythical Chinese animal); kylin; Chinese unicorn; commonly mistranslated as giraffe

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キリン

see styles
Japanese kirin / キリン Japanese (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (female given name) Kirin; (c) Kirin

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ジラフ

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Japanese jirafu / ジラフ Japanese giraffe

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山西獸


山西兽

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Mandarin shān xī shòu / shan1 xi1 shou4
Taiwan shan hsi shou
Chinese Shansitherium fuguensis (early giraffe)

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薩摩麟

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Mandarin sà mó lín / sa4 mo2 lin2
Taiwan sa mo lin
Chinese Samotherium (early giraffe)

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麒麟座

see styles
Mandarin qí lín zuò / qi2 lin2 zuo4
Taiwan ch`i lin tso / chi lin tso
Japanese kirinza / きりんざ
Chinese Monoceros (constellation)
Japanese {astron} Camelopardalis (constellation); the Giraffe

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キリン科

see styles
Japanese kirinka / キリンか Japanese Giraffidae; family containing the giraffe and the okapi

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麒麟(P);騏驎

see styles
Japanese kirin(p);kirin / きりん(P);キリン Japanese (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (3) (麒麟 only) Kirin (brand of beer); (4) (騏驎 only) (archaism) horse that can ride 1000 ri in a day

アウケノグラニスオッキデンタリス

see styles
Japanese aukenoguranisuokkidentarisu / アウケノグラニスオッキデンタリス Japanese bubu (Auchenoglanis occidentalis); giraffe catfish

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Search for Giraffe in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Giraffe長頸鹿
长颈鹿
zhǎng jǐng lù
zhang3 jing3 lu4
zhang jing lu
zhangjinglu
chang ching lu
changchinglu
Kirin
Giraffe
Mythical Creature
麒麟kirinqí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilinch`i lin / chilin / chi lin
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.



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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

Some people may refer to this entry as Giraffe Kanji, Giraffe Characters, Giraffe in Mandarin Chinese, Giraffe Characters, Giraffe in Chinese Writing, Giraffe in Japanese Writing, Giraffe in Asian Writing, Giraffe Ideograms, Chinese Giraffe symbols, Giraffe Hieroglyphics, Giraffe Glyphs, Giraffe in Chinese Letters, Giraffe Hanzi, Giraffe in Japanese Kanji, Giraffe Pictograms, Giraffe in the Chinese Written-Language, or Giraffe in the Japanese Written-Language.