Canva launches translation and other AI-powered features

Canva just entered the machine translation (MT) game.

The Australian graphic design platform hosted its flagship Canva Create event last Thursday, sharing a suite of new features that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to make the design process more efficient. One of those — aptly named Translate — allows users to translate the text written in a given design into 134 different languages.

“For businesses, one of the biggest challenges can be rolling out assets across different markets,” Michael Levot, the company’s head of localization, told the audience at Canva Create on Thursday. “So to help bridge your designs, bridge language barriers, I am thrilled to be launching Translate.”

Translate is the first translation tool available on the platform. As of the tool’s launch on Thursday, free users of Canva can have up to 50 pages translated during the course of their membership. Canva Premium and Teams users, on the other hand, can use the tool to generate translations of up to 500 pages per user every month.

According to Canva, the tool is best used with “simple and short” sentences and phrases. Users can have pretty much any design made on the platform translated, except for designs made with Canva Docs, the platform’s text editing tool.

Translate isn’t the only AI-powered tool that the company launched at Canva Create. The company also announced the introduction of its text-to-image tool, which allows users to automatically generate an image or illustration, based on a written prompt, much like tools such as DALL-E and Midjourney. Additionally, new tools like Magic Design and Magic Write use AI to generate a design based on an image or create text based on a user’s prompt, a bit like ChatGPT.

“I’m immensely proud of the team who came together in just a couple of months to extend our teams’ mission of making Canva available to the whole world,” Levot wrote in a Linkedin post after Canva Create. “There’s much more on the way for Translate, including human translation (because talented translators and copy writers remain the lifeblood of localisation) so watch this space.”

Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.

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