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Design app Canva now available in multiple languages

To cope with global demands, the app was released in six other languages on May 17, and will soon be available to 15 more by end-2016.
By Elyssa Christine Lopez |


After celebrating its 10 millionth user in March, Canva is set to reaching more, this time with local touch.


Canva launched the app in six more languages on Tuesday, May 17, in its effort to internationalize and reach more consumers. As of press time, the online design application is already available in English, French, German, Polish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, European Spanish, and Latin American Spanish.


“We started with the Roman languages first as the shared alphabet made it easier and we wanted to be in as many languages as quickly as we could so we could empower more people to design,” Canva CEO Melanie Perkins told in an email interview. 


RELATED: How Melanie Perkins disrupted digital design


Ever since it gained traction in 2013, the online design application has piqued interests from around the world, with the US as its biggest market, followed by Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and India.



The startup also hopes to release the app in Thai, Malay, Bahasa, Bengali, Japanese, and traditional Chinese (for Hong Kong and Taiwan) in July to October.


However, the Sydney-based design startup believes it still has a lot of catching up to do, with the growing number of online users they still have not tapped. As of 2014, there are already 40.68 billion Internet users worldwide, according to World Bank.


“Of these billions, only 28% speak English, so we have so much growing to do. We’ve only achieved 1% of our plan and vision for the company and still have a long way to go,” Perkins added.


The push has already been proven beneficial to its users. After launching a Spanish app in beta a month ago, Canva noticed 350,000 of their users in Spain already switched to the local language.


The “internationalization” process has also given the young startup the chance to explore its users’ taste, culture, and language as a whole. It has been meticulous in keeping the app “local” from the available layouts to selection of fonts.



For example, the design app released localized designs for its select markets, “Cinco de Mayo” in Mexico and “Oktober Festival” in Germany. German words in particular are longer than those in English and the app has to adapt to such aspect, Perkins added.


“We have learned a lot about how to think globally as a company and how important cultural context is to design. We had to ensure that our interface is able to support their (other languages’) characters and to enable Canva to feel like it speaks people’s native design language,” Perkins added.




Elyssa Christine Lopez is's editorial assistant/ staff writer. Follow her on Twitter@elyssalopz

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