少年は帽子で自分を煽いだ。

English Translation

The boy fanned himself with his hat.

pronunciation helper sounds like せい not あお, ですね?

@sjfree
I looked it up in the general sentence search bar. The transcription is あおいだ and the TTS pronounces the same (at least on my iOS app).

Does yours improperly pronounce the Kanji 煽 as せん in On Yomi? — I guess it could not be せい but せん.

By the way, there are two issues in the original Japanese sentence.

First, 煽 is 常用外漢字. It’s better replaced with the 常用漢字 version 扇.

Second, 自分を扇ぐ is understandable but still awkward in Japanese. We don’t usually say 扇ぐ for 自分を (oneself). My alternative translation is:

少年は帽子で扇いで涼んだ。(あおいですずんだ) = (lit.) The boy fanned with his hat to cool (himself) down.

扇 or 煽 is also frequently used as “to agitate (by spreading propaganda etc. or threatening)” in the form of 扇る, 煽る (both あおる), or 扇動する (せんどうする). These terms are apparently not peaceful. That’s why I put 涼んだ in the sentence to feel the sense of comfortable breeze.

Thank you for your reply.
So, 扇 is more appropriate as fan or fanning. Google defined 煽 as to agitate and I assumed it was fanning also.

Your translation definitely makes it clear that the situation is more peaceful. Unless, I suppose, if he is fanning himself to work himself up into some kind of raging frenzy. (試みたユーモア)

@sjfree
The difference between 扇 and 煽 is NOT “to fan” and “to agitate”. The difference is not about the 漢字 part but about the 送り仮名.

  • あお = to fan (i.e. to create wind in order to circulate the air)

  • あお = to agitate (i.e. to create wind in order to make fire bigger → to get people more excited and motivated in a bad way)

扇 is 常用漢字 and 煽 is 常用漢字. In other words, they are just variations and interchangeable with each other. But newspapers and government papers are written in 常用漢字 for a standardization purposez.

あおぐ is written in both 扇 and 煽. But we prefer 扇ぐ because it’s on the 常用漢字 list. In other words, 煽ぐ is NOT wrong at all even though there is no fire.

あおる is more frequently written as 煽る in 常用外漢字 than as 扇る simply because agitation reflects the image of fire.
In order to avoid 常用外漢字, however, newspapers and government papers often rewrite it as あおる in Hiragana.