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). Harnzok settlers arrived in 1851. Zhefng Dynasty 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" (嫌い; kirai) in Japanese. The official name became "Karenkō" (花蓮港), eventually shortened to just Karen (花蓮).