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麒麟 in Chinese / Japanese...

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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 麒麟 that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your 麒麟 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
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature
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.

麒麟児

see styles
Japanese kirinji / きりんじ Japanese child prodigy; wonder child; (surname) Kirinji

麒麟區

see styles
Mandarin qí lín qū / qi2 lin2 qu1
Taiwan ch`i lin ch`ü / chi lin chü
Chinese Qilin district, Qujing city, Yunnan

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

麒麟竭

see styles
Japanese kirinketsu / きりんけつ Japanese (kana only) dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops draco); bright red resin used in medicine, dyes, etc.

麒麟草

see styles
Japanese kirinsou;kirinsou / kirinso;kirinso / きりんそう;キリンソウ Japanese (kana only) Kamchatka stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum); (given name) Kirinsou

麒麟菜

see styles
Mandarin qí lín cài / qi2 lin2 cai4
Taiwan ch`i lin ts`ai / chi lin tsai
Japanese kirinsai;kirinsai / きりんさい;キリンサイ
Chinese eucheuma, a type of red algae (used in TCM)
Japanese (kana only) Eucheuma muricatum (species of red algae)

麒麟血

see styles
Japanese kirinketsu / きりんけつ Japanese (kana only) dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops draco); bright red resin used in medicine, dyes, etc.

麒麟羚羊

see styles
Japanese kirinreiyou;kirinreiyou / kirinreyo;kirinreyo / きりんれいよう;キリンレイヨウ Japanese (kana only) (See ジェレヌク) gerenuk (Litocranius walleri); Waller's gazelle

深山秋の麒麟草

see styles
Japanese miyamaakinokirinsou;miyamaakinokirinsou / miyamakinokirinso;miyamakinokirinso / みやまあきのきりんそう;ミヤマアキノキリンソウ Japanese (kana only) European goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea); woundwort

麒麟竭;麒麟血

see styles
Japanese kirinketsu;kirinketsu / きりんけつ;キリンケツ Japanese (kana only) (See 竜血樹) dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops draco); bright red resin used in medicine, dyes, etc.

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

Search for 麒麟 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
Kirin
Giraffe
Mythical Creature
麒麟kirinqí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilinch`i lin / chilin / chi lin



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

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