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Community Participant

Second Language

Can a student have Canvas in a second language(Spanish) and everyone else in the course be in English?

6 Replies
Community Champion

Hi  @dmcclain 

This has been marked answered, so I'm guessing you already found where this can happen, but just in case, this guide page explains the process well:

How do I change the language preference in my user account?

I have a similar question.  My concern is how to change the teacher input into another language.  For example, I am an ELL specialist and will update my canvas in English.  But my Spanish students will look and only see the "canvas" info in Spanish (the top and left sides of the Canvas page) but not see my words in Spanish.  How can I change that?  I have had them set their default to Espanol.  Hope this makes sense!

Community Champion

Hi, Jan.

Are you asking to have Canvas translate the course content that you have written in English into Spanish when your students view it? I don't believe that's possible. Perhaps I misunderstand your question.

Yes.  We have over twenty languages represented in my district and was hoping to be able to offer some translations via Canvas and not the google translators we have been using etc.  I know Canvas changes the Canvas language (the course name, inbox, settings, etc) into their native language, but was hoping it could change course content as well.

Community Champion

User interface items (i.e., the built-in parts of Canvas) do get translated. This is because Canvas's database maintains table of translations for these known items.

I just experimented by switching myself to another language. As I suspected, course names are not translated, because they are school-created content, not part of the Canvas user interface. Do you perhaps have separate courses for ESL students, which would explain why they would see the course names translated?

Community Champion

See also - this shows a link to some of the work that I have been doing to have parallel language content in each page in Canvas (for example, both Swedish and English). Unfortunately, you have to deal with the HTML - but it is possible to provide a template for this to others who then just fill in the actual content.