I saw that these seem to all be translations of "afterlife" - la vie d'après, l'après-vie, and la vie d'après la mort. Is there a difference in register or connotation between these? Are they just interchangeable?

2 Answers 2


I'd say the most common is "la vie après la mort" (without d').

There is no connotation or register difference (death is death, after all).

I have never heard of "après-vie", and a quick search shows it apparently doesn't exist in traditional dictionaries (Larousse, Robert). "Après-vie" sounds like a literal translation of the English word "afterlife", and was used to translate the Stephen King novel that bears this title.

Both "la vie d'après" and "la vie après la mort" are commonly used and interchangeable.


I agree with Ety that la vie après la mort would be the most common translation for "afterlife", when that term refers to the fate of one specific person. I disagree about la vie d’après though - that would be life after any event (a change of jobs, a divorce, etc.), possibly including death, but that would be highly context-dependent.

Another common term that would be more appropriate in certain contexts is l’au-delà (literally: "the beyond"; the best translation would likely be "the afterworld"). It refers to a collective place where the souls of the deceased would go after death, without much detail about what happens there exactly; it could refer to the Christian paradise (paradis), the Greek Elysium (Champs Élysées), or other belief systems.

The register is almost the same; maybe "au-delà" is slightly more formal. It also has (to my ears) a more "mystical" aspect. For instance, if I were a psychic trying to fleece a gullible mourner, I would rather claim

Je peux communiquer avec l’au-delà

I can communicate with the afterworld


Je peux communiquer avec les esprits des morts

I can communicate with the spirits of the dead

because (in French at least) the latter claim sounds more specific / technical.

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