Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland

Simplified Chinese (Mandarin: China)
Dà Bùlièdiān hé Ài'ěrlán de lóng de zhǒnglèi
大不列颠 Dà Bùlièdiān = 'Great Britain'.
= 'and'.
爱尔兰 Ài'ěrlán = 'Ireland'.
de = connecting particle
lóng = 'dragon'.
de = connecting particle
种类 zhǒnglèi = 'type'.
Types of Dragon of Great Britain and Ireland
Traditional Chinese (Mandarin: Taiwan)
Dà Bùlièdiān yǔ Ài'ěrlán de gèshì lóng-zhǒng
大不列顛 Dà Bùlièdiān = 'Great Britain'.
= 'and'.
愛爾蘭 Ài'ěrlán = 'Ireland'.
de = connecting particle
各式 gèshì = 'each style'.
龍種 lóng-zhǒng = 'dragon type'.
Various Dragon Types of Great Britain and Ireland
イギリスとアイルランドの ドラゴン の種類
Igirisu to Airurando no doragon no shurui
イギリス Igirisu = 'UK, Britain'.
to = 'and'.
アイルランド Airurando = 'Ireland'.
no = connecting particle
normally pronounced ryū, here pronounced ドラゴン doragon = 'dragon'.
no = connecting particle
種類 shurui = 'type'.
Types of Dragon of the UK and Ireland
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Các giống rồng ở nước Anh và Ái Nhĩ Lan Các () = 'each'.
giống = 'type'.
rồng = 'dragon'.
= 'in'.
nước = 'country'.
Anh () = 'UK, Britain'.
= 'and'.
Ái Nhĩ Lan (愛爾蘭) = 'Ireland'.
Types of Dragon in the UK and Ireland
Mongolian (previous)
Британи ба Ирландын луунууд
Britani ba Irlandiin luunuud
  Dragons of Britain and Ireland
Mongolian (new)
Их Британи, Ирландын лууны төрөл зүйл
Ikh Britani, Irlandiin luunii töröl züil
  Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland


Although traditionally identified with each other, Oriental and Western dragons are completely different creatures. The Oriental dragon is, in its most typical form, a benevolent creature associated with water, a royal creature symbolising the emperor. The Western dragon is an evil, fire-breathing creature, slain in legend by the hero St George. The Chinese and Vietnamese do not have a separate word for the Western dragon. The Chinese name that originally referred to auspicious Oriental dragons must be used to describe the loathsome Western beast.

The Japanese have several words for dragon, namely tatsu, ryū (both written ) and more recently ドラゴン doragon, borrowed from English. Although there is no clear distinction in usage between the three — the English word doragon can equally refer to the Western and Oriental dragons — there is nevertheless a latent distinction that is nicely exploited by the Japanese translator. By using furigana (phonetic lettering) to show that ryū should actually be pronounced doragon, the translator suggests that this creature is similar to an Oriental dragon but also somehow different, thus setting it apart from the traditional concept.

The whole issue of dragons is a complex and fascinating one. The Chinese actually recognise several different types of dragon, some of which were not quite as benevolent or auspicious as the lóng (for example, the poisonous qiú in a poem by the Tang dynasty poet Li Ho). There are innumerable sites devoted to dragons on the Internet, of varying quality. Often they display little knowledge of Chinese and recycle similar information. For starters, try The Chinese Dragon and other mythical dragons of the East, Illiana the Golden Dragon, Tysharina's Lair, Types of Dragons, Dragons in Ancient China, Dragons of China, and The Vietnamese Dragon.

Great Britain and Ireland:

'Great Britain' and 'Ireland' could refer to:

The translation will vary according to how the translators decide to interpret the meaning.

In the two Chinese versions, 'Great Britain' and 'Ireland' are translated quite literally. 大不列颠 / 大不列顛 Dà Bùlièdiān means 'Large Britain', that is, the island of Great Britain. 不列颠 Bùlièdiān, the Chinese transliteration of 'Britain', is not very common and has a formal or academic tone. 'Ireland' in Chinese is written with the characters 愛爾蘭 / 爱尔兰 Ài'ěrlán, meaning 'love' + 'er (basically meaningless)' + 'orchid', and could refer either to the nation or the island.

(There is a common fallacy in Japan that 'Great Britain' is a case of self-aggrandisement, similar to the use of 'Dai Nippon' — Great Nippon. In fact, 'Great' Britain does not refer to the 'greatness' of the British nation. It simply means 'Large Britain', either because Great Britain is the largest island in the British Isles, or in opposition to Brittany in northern France — compare the French terms Bretagne for Brittany and Grand Bretagne for Great Britain).

The Japanese version uses names which refer to the two countries, the UK and Ireland. イギリス Igirisu is obviously derived from 'English' and is used for what is known as the United Kingdom or Great Britain. アイルランド Airurando, spelling out clearly the 'r' in 'Ire', is the name for Ireland.

The Vietnamese version also refers to the UK and Ireland. The most common word for the UK or Great Britain is Anh, from Chinese yīng, which is derived from 'England'. There are several ways of writing 'Ireland'. This translation uses the Vietnamese form of the Chinese word 愛爾蘭 Ài'ěrlán, pronounced Ái Nhĩ Lan, which is somewhat different from the English pronunciation of 'Ireland'. Alternative names for Ireland are the Vietnamised form Ailen or (less commonly) the English spelling 'Ireland'.

See also The Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles and Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland.

Category: Magical Creatures

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