We were lucky enough to have the company of 8 folks from eastern Russia on a 12 Day Oar-Powered rafting trip this June. I worked with a friend of the group who acted as their "travel agent" because of her mastery of the English language. It was a lot of fun! Two of us from the Page, Arizona office, Emi and Adam, headed down to Lees Ferry the morning of the trip launch to meet our guests. Among the group of 8 Russians, only one spoke English! What fun! The thing is, we can only fit up to 5 passengers on an oar-powered raft. So, one raft held 5 of their group with the interpreter and one raft had the lone 3 to communicate in any way they could with the guide! Makes for an interesting day on the water as a guide when you have a boat full of folks who can’t understand you.
We have received rave reviews about the trip from the guides, other passengers and the Russian group. Despite language barriers, they had a safe and enjoyable white water raft trip!
Just as an FYI, Grand Canyon Whitewater’s website does have a translator tool at the bottom of each page. If you have any international friends, let them know they can read our site in their native tongue.