Volunteer of the Month: Larisa Segida

I arrived in Winnipeg on September 1, 2003. Knowing about my translation experience in Russia, a friend of mine suggested that I should go to the Immigrant Centre. At that time it was called the Winnipeg International Centre. I was looking for a job as an Interpreter and Translator but quite soon realized that there was no such job in Winnipeg, at least, at that time.

I met Mary Ann Gribben, the head of the Language Bank at that time. She added my name to the list of volunteers. I began to receive translation and interpretation assignments. Mostly, I verified translations made by immigrants and provided interpretation in the Law Courts. Shortly after, I was enrolled into two courses organized by the IC: Introduction to Interpreting (Dec 2004) and Legal Interpretation (May 2007) for successful completion of which I was awarded two certificates. Then, in 2008, in the Winnipeg Wings, there was also a two-day training facilitated by the Ministry of Defence during which interpreters trained the military to communicate with imaginary foreigners via interpreters. So, I have been involved with the IC since 2004, for 15 years.

In 2004, I joined CanTalk Canada. In 2007, I joined the team of health interpreters in Language Access, at the WRHA. As a freelancer, I have been doing a lot of translation and interpretation for clients in Canada, the USA and former republics of the Soviet Union. I tried to find an opportunity to graduate with a translation / interpretation degree in the language combination Russian-English in Canada, but there is no such program. Then, I decided to do some studies close to languages and graduated from the U of Manitoba with a Master’s (2008) and PhD (2013) in Teaching English as an Additional Language.

I love doing translation and interpretation. I understand that newcomers cannot afford professional translator’s or interpreter’s services, therefore I am happy to help them with my free-of-charge service as an IC volunteer. I remember myself as a newcomer with all struggles I had to go through, so I give my time and skills to the IC with all my heart.

In October 2018 I became a certified community interpreter for the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Manitoba and the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council, and a month ago, I became a certified translator from Russian to English for the ATIM and the CTTIC. It is such an honour for me! Manitoba has not had a certified translator from Russian to English for almost 15 years! I am sincerely happy to serve my community. I am grateful to the IC staff for their kindness, patience and professionalism.