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French translation, interpretation & consulting

French Translation, Interpretation & Consulting Services by Philippe Willems

Meet Philippe Willems, Ph.D.


Philippe, pictured above, is our in-house French interpreter and US-France business consultant. Born in Paris and raised on the French Riviera, he has crisscrossed most of the US by car and by plane and particularly enjoys the West and Hawaii. Philippe holds a Ph.D. in French studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He is a former Associate Professor of French from Northern Illinois University, where he taught translation and a vast array of language/literature/culture courses for 11 years. He brought his interest in technology to the classroom by introducing e-learning, video subtitling and dubbing, online publishing, and multimedia localization to his students.

Today Dr. Philippe is a key member of our team, as he provides a high level of linguistics expertise, extensive knowledge of world cultures and history, and well-honed research skills to our French markets in America and Europe.

His global perspective and nuanced knowledge of translation owe much to the fact that he has been colleague, teacher, friend, and neighbor to people from over 70 countries. A member of a trilingual household, he shares his time between the US, France, and Japan.


Philippe, en photo ci-dessus, est notre traducteur de langue française et consultant interne en affaires franco-américaines. Né à Paris et élevé sur la Côte d’Azur, il a sillonné la plus grande partie des USA de long en large par route et par air et ressent un attachement tout particulier pour l’Ouest et Hawaii. Philippe est titulaire d’un doctorat en études françaises de l’Université du Colorado à Boulder.

Ex-maître de conférences à la Northern Illinois University, il y a enseigné la traduction et une grande variété de cours de langue, littérature et culture durant 11 ans. Ses intérêts en technologie l’ont mené à initier ses étudiants à l’apprentissage en ligne, au doublage et sous-titrage de film, à la publication en ligne et à la localisation multimédia.

Aujourd’hui, le professeur Philippe joue un rôle clé au sein de notre équipe. Nos marchés américains et européens bénéficient de son expertise linguistique, de ses connaissances étendues en histoire et cultures du monde, et de ses talents en recherche.

Sa perspective globale et sa compréhension approfondie de la traduction doivent beaucoup à ses expériences en tant que collègue, enseignant, ami, et voisin de citoyens de plus de 70 pays du monde. Membre d’un foyer trilingue, il partage son temps entre les USA, la France et le Japon.



Career Experience

1. Precision Language & Graphics, Inc, Schaumburg, IL
a. Manager of Translation and French Translator, 2015-Present

2. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
a. Associate Professor of French (tenured), 2009-2014
b. Course Coordinator / Teaching Assistant Supervisor, 2013-2014
c. Assistant Professor of French, 2003-2009

3. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD
a. Visiting Assistant Professor of French, 2000-2003

4. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
a. Visiting Assistant Professor of French, 1998-2000


  • Ph.D, French Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Master's Degree, French Studies, University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • DEUG, LEA (Applied Foreign Languages - English / German / Russian), Université Nice Sophia Antipolis

1. Project 1

  1. Industry: Forest-industry heavy machinery
  2. Type of document: Manual and software for harvesting and processing heads
  3. File Format: Excel, InDesign, pdf, PowerPoint
  4. Word Count: 60,000 words
  5. Challenge(s): The breadth of terminology associated with the project’s scope, as well as the recreation by our DTP team of illustrated brochures for which the originals were unavailable.

2. Project 2

  1. Industry: Chemical engineering
  2. Type of document: Set of data sheets
  3. File Format: MS Word, rtf, pdf
  4. Word Count: 25,000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Technical terminology; respecting formal standards of presentation with a target text longer than the English-language original, mainly fitting text inside of tables.

3. Project 3

  1. Industry: Human resources
  2. Type of document: Manual for an executive leadership workshop at a top financial institution.
  3. File Format: MS Word, rtf
  4. Word Count: 50,000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Translating neologisms proper to this developing domain.

4. Project 4

  1. Industry: Food gourmet hocolate
  2. Type of document: Brochure featuring products and recipes
  3. File Format: InDesign
  4. Word Count: 2000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Capturing subtle nuances in descriptions and the poetry of product names.

5. Project 5

  1. Industry: Natural preserves
  2. Type of document: Product labels
  3. File Format: Adobe Illustrator
  4. Word Count: 400 words
  5. Challenge(s): Upholding Canadian Food Inspection Agency compliance norms; designing bilingual labels within the constrained limited real estate of a space originally made to feature clear and eye-catching information in only one language.

6. Project 6

  1. Industry: Household/outdoors products
  2. Type of document: Product labels for international retailer
  3. File Format: Adobe Illustrator
  4. Word Count: Ranging from 3 to 2000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Daily requests from customers and quick turnarounds; measurement conversions; translating terminology for niche products; retaining the folksy character of product names in such domains as fishing lures and accessories; working on short deadlines in round-the-clock cycles with client on the other side of the globe.

7. Project 7

  1. Industry: Cosmetics
  2. Type of document: Website page
  3. File Format: MS Word
  4. Word Count: 2000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Company specializes in East-Asian ingredients; blend of technical and exotic.

8. Project 8

  1. Industry: Music criticism
  2. Type of document: Article for city symphony newsletter
  3. File Format: MS Word
  4. Word Count: 300 words
  5. Challenge(s): Rendering literary style and nuances of the original.

9. Project 9

  1. Industry: Industrial portable cooling equipment
  2. Type of document: Sales catalog
  3. File Format: InDesign
  4. Word Count: 4000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Terminology; numerous measurement conversions; matching the style and layout of the original and coordinating translations in several languages, including Arabic, which requires inverting reading direction.

10. Project 10

  1. Industry: Manufacturing Execution System Software
  2. Type of document: Interface software
  3. File Format: Excel, MS Word
  4. Word Count: 15,000 words
  5. Challenge(s): Terminology; fitting typically longer French translations into limited interface “real estate.”

Contact Philippe

To contact Philippe Willems, please call 847-413-1688 or e-mail him at phil.w@plg-online.com.