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A tweet has become quite successful during the last weeks:

Vosotros hablando de «fake news» y «posverdad» cuando el castellano tiene una palabra hermosa para eso:
enter image description here
(source)

That is:

Y'all taking about "fake news" and "posverdad" when Spanish has a beautiful word for that: paparrucha.

Where posverdad is the Spanish translation of "post-truth".

And indeed the author seems to be right, as DLE defines the word as:

paparrucha
De páparo.
1. f. coloq. Noticia falsa y desatinada de un suceso, esparcida entre el vulgo.
2. f. coloq. Tontería, estupidez, cosa insustancial y desatinada.
3. f. León. Masa blanda, como la del barro.

Where páparo refers to the second definition here:

páparo, ra
De papa3.
1. adj. Dicho de una persona: De una tribu, ya extinguida, del istmo de Panamá. U. t. c. s.
2. m. Aldeano u hombre del campo, simple e ignorante, que de cualquier cosa que ve, para él extraordinaria, se queda admirado y pasmado.

And papo3 means dumb in Honduras.

Considering the Oxford dictionary defines post-truth as:

Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

Can we assume both words are equivalent, so paparrucha is indeed the (proper) translation of post-truth into Spanish?

  • También tenemos filfa o bulo para noticia falsa, patraña es otra que podría valer – user14069 Oct 5 '17 at 15:09
  • ¿Se puede decir noticias falsas en castellano? – mdewey Oct 5 '17 at 15:10
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    Esa palabra nunca la había oído. Patrañas es la que usaríamos por aquí. – DGaleano Oct 5 '17 at 16:29
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    @KansaiRobot - This is a young site, please bear with us, we're still figuring out how to keep up our standards while not scaring off newcomers. Meanwhile, I have a suggestion for you: if something like this happens to you again here or on another SE site, raise a flag, or post on the sister Meta site. In this case you don't need to because I already raised a flag. – aparente001 Dec 22 '17 at 18:08
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If you follow the tweet thread, you'll see that Fundéu have answered and I agree with them: unlike fake news, paparrucha is an informal term in Spanish. Noticias falsas is perfectly fine for me.

As for post-truth, as others have said, it has a different meaning. The simple direct translation posverdad is, once again, perfectly fine for me. The prefix post- (or pos-) has been used in Spanish before with the same meaning and intention.

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I also saw the tweet and I liked it very much :)

However, even though RAE provides a definition that makes "paparrucha" very close to "post-verdad" and "fake news", I have two objections to the usage of the former instead of the latter two. Both objections are from a subjective point of view, though:

  • First, I consider it a little bit obsolete. Frankly, I only know it because of old comics (Zipi y Zape, el Tío Gilito), and I would consider it old-fashioned in modern Spanish discourse.

  • Second, for me it has a very pejorative nuance, while "post-verdad" and "fake news" are kind of more neutral. I mean. I would only use "paparruchas" if I'm trying to discredit someone's discourse, and I would find it to be out of context, for instance, in the written press or in TV news.

P.S. All of this has been written from the perspective of a Spain Spanish speaker. I don't know how the Spanish speakers from America might see it.

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Is it a correct translation for "fake news"? Yes, absolutely.

Is it a correct translation for "post-truth"? I don't think so. The "appealing more to emotions and personal beliefs rather than facts" connotation is missing in the Spanish word.

But that's not a problem, since "fake news" and "post-truth" aren't synonyms in English either.

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Just for the record, the RAE has just included posverdad in the DLE (update 23.1 from december 20, 2017):

posverdad

De pos- y verdad, trad. del ingl. post-truth.

  1. f. Distorsión deliberada de una realidad, que manipula creencias y emociones con el fin de influir en la opinión pública y en actitudes sociales. Los demagogos son maestros de la posverdad.

So now you don't have to translate post-truth as paparruchas.

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