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Giraffe in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Giraffe calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Giraffe" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Giraffe" title below...


China zhǎng jǐng lù
Giraffe Vertical Wall Scroll

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 Vertical Wall Scroll

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!

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...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
Mandarin qí lín / qi2 lin2
Taiwan ch`i lin / chi lin
Japanese kirin / きりん
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll
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.


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


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


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


see styles
Japanese jirafu / ジラフ Japanese giraffe



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


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


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


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


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


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

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
zhǎng jǐng lù
zhang3 jing3 lu4
zhang jing lu
chang ching lu
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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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.

A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

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

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.

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.