How to Say World War 2 in French: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “World War 2” in French. In this article, we will provide you with formal and informal ways to express this term, and we will also touch upon regional variations when necessary. We will include numerous tips and examples to help you navigate the French language effectively. So, let’s dive in!

Formal Expressions

In formal settings, it is essential to use appropriate language. Here are some formal ways to say “World War 2” in French:

1. La Deuxième Guerre mondiale

One commonly used way to refer to World War 2 in French is “La Deuxième Guerre mondiale.” This translates to “The Second World War” in English. It is the most standard and widely recognized term for this historical event.

Dans les livres d’histoire, la Deuxième Guerre mondiale est dépeinte comme un conflit majeur ayant des répercussions mondiales.

In history books, World War 2 is portrayed as a major conflict with global repercussions.

2. Le conflit de 1939-1945

Another formal way to refer to World War 2 is by specifying the years of the conflict. You can use “Le conflit de 1939-1945” to denote the time frame in which the war took place.

Les historiens s’accordent à dire que le conflit de 1939-1945 a été déterminant pour l’évolution du monde contemporain.

Historians agree that the conflict of 1939-1945 was decisive for the development of the contemporary world.

Informal Expressions

Informal language allows for a more casual tone. Here are a couple of ways to express “World War 2” informally in French:

1. La Deuxième Guerre

If you wish to use a shorter, less formal form, you can simply say “La Deuxième Guerre” which translates to “The Second War” in English. While it may not explicitly mention “World” in the translation, it is widely understood to refer to the Second World War.

Pendant La Deuxième Guerre, de nombreux pays ont été ravagés par les combats.

During World War 2, many countries were devastated by the fighting.

2. La Guerre 39-45

Another informal way to refer to World War 2 is by using the years of the conflict. You can say “La Guerre 39-45” to convey the same meaning with a shorter expression.

La Guerre 39-45 a engendré d’importants changements politiques dans de nombreux pays.

World War 2 brought about significant political changes in many countries.

Tips and Considerations

When discussing World War 2 in French, it’s important to keep a few tips and considerations in mind:

1. Regional Variations

French is spoken in various regions around the world, which may lead to regional variations in language usage. The expressions mentioned above are understood and used throughout French-speaking countries, but slight regional differences might occur. However, these variations are not significant when referring to World War 2.

2. Watch for Gender and Agreement

Remember that in French, nouns have genders, which may affect other parts of the sentence, such as adjectives and articles. Adjust the articles and adjectives accordingly to match the gender of the noun you are using. For example, “La Deuxième Guerre mondiale” uses the feminine article “La” because “guerre” (war) is a feminine noun.

3. Be Clear about the Context

When discussing World War 2, make sure you provide sufficient context in your conversation to avoid any confusion. Mentioning key events, dates, or countries involved can help ensure clarity and avoid misunderstandings.


In conclusion, we have explored several formal and informal ways to say “World War 2” in French. The formal expressions include “La Deuxième Guerre mondiale” and “Le conflit de 1939-1945,” while informal options include “La Deuxième Guerre” and “La Guerre 39-45.” Remember to adapt the language based on the context and pay attention to grammar rules in French. By following these tips and examples, you can confidently discuss World War 2 in French-speaking environments. Bonne chance!

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