Source: Hualien County#History
Taioaan goanzuxbiin originally called the place "Kiray" (Kilaai (奇萊 shortened from "Sakiraya"). Spanish settlers arrived in 1622 to pan for gold. Picking up the sounds of native words, these settlers called the area Turumoan (多羅滿). Han settlers arrived in 1851. Zhefng recorded the name of the region as Hoelaan or Hoelieen (洄瀾 "eddies") due to the whirling of waters in the delta.
During Taioaan Jidpurn sitai, Japanese governors opted not to transliterate "Kilai" because it sounds similar to "dislike" (Jidguo: 嫌い kirai) in Japanese. The official name became Karenkō (花蓮港), eventually shortened to just Karen (花蓮).