John Jensen


     Born in Utah but raised in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, and California, Dr. Jensen received his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University, majoring in Spanish, with a minor in English.  Fascinated by Portuguese and Brazil while still in high school, he studied two years of Portuguese at the University, and upon graduation, joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served for two years (1965-1967) in Brazil in the interior of Ceará state, teaching English and working with projects in health and community development.


   Upon his return to the U.S., he received his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, specializing in Spanish and Portuguese linguistics. He has held full-time teaching positions at the University of Virginia, State University of New York-A lbany, and Florida International University, and visiting assignments at other institutions. He is now retired (as of August, 2010) from FIU. He has held research grants in Brazil and Colombia, and has published over 50 articles, mostly on linguistics, and is the co-author or editor of several books, including the best-selling series Travessia, a book- and video-based Portuguese-language teaching program, published by Georgetown University Press, the market leader for twenty years, but no longer available. 


   Dr. Jensen began his translating career while still in graduate school, and over the years has done literally thousands of documents of all sorts, including books: self-help, philosophy, technical, and historical. Certified by the American Translators Association, his first work of long-form fiction is The Last Songs of Autumn: The Shadowy Story of the Mysterious Count of Lautréamont. He has completed another Brazilian novel of general interest (Vanishing Point) and a book of memoires of an early companion of the Spiritist Francisco Cândido Xavier (Cisco Cândido Xavier) and six other Brazilian Spiritist novels.  With his wife he translated a musical play on the life of St. Francis of Assisi into both a Spanish and a Portugueses version. In addition to translating, he is an active conference interpreter (beginning in 1980) and taught translation and interpretation at his university (starting in 1999) and in state-sponsored workshops throughout Florida.  He is married and has four grown children, two grown step-children, and four grandchildren. He and Sula Godfrey-Jensen (also a translator/interpreter) maintain homes in Miami and in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


Check out this ex-PCV site:


Click here for my Translation CV

Click here for a list of conference interpretation assignments