Taras Ivanov, a 17-year-old developer from the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, has developed a tool that could translate YouTube videos from most languages into Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

According to Ivanov’s Telegram post, the “Free Translator Service” tool is free and operates on a donation basis. Users simply have to paste the video link into the Telegram bot he created, and the program will generate an audio track in Ukrainian or Crimean Tartar.

To choose Crimean Tartar as the desired output, users can insert the “/settings” command into the bot and choose between a male and female narrator voice.

Ivanov told Ukrainian news outlet Mezha that his idea came about when he had to translate a video urgently and couldn’t find the appropriate services, and he created the tool within one day and later shared it publicly on Aug. 2, 2023.

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He also told Mezha that Crimean Tatar was later added to his program since most current translators do not support the language.

“I would like to note that currently Crimean Tatar (the language of the indigenous population of the Ukrainian Crimea – the Crimean Tatars) is not available to most of the well-known translators. More languages ​​will be added in the future,” Ivanov told Mezha.

However, he also noted that as a non-Crimean-Tatar speaker, he could not determine the quality of the translation.

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In one of his recent updates, Ivanov said he has relocated to a safer location further from the front and called on people to keep supporting Ukraine.

“I, as a resident of the Selydove community in Donetsk region, recently evacuated to a safer place. Russians are killing civilians. On Feb. 14, they shelled the town of Selydove. The apartments of my class teacher and my classmate were destroyed. The maternity ward was destroyed. People died.

“Russia is shelling Ukrainian cities every day. This is genocide. Genocide of the Ukrainian people. I want to call on everyone who has the opportunity to help our military and people who are in difficult life circumstances. Only together we can do something,” said Ivanov in a February update.

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IT development has been Ukraine’s largest service export, contributing $8 billion to the country’s economy in 2023 despite the ongoing war, though it did suffer notable setbacks last year compared to 2022.

As Ukraine’s tech industry has long thrived on overseas projects, the war has had a noticeable impact on the local job market due to the lack of confidence from international clients. However, IT development continues to be one of the most profitable professions – reaching $2,630 of average salary a month by some estimates – that continued to lure numerous Ukrainians to the field.

A recent Kyiv Post report covered the IT industry in wartime Ukraine in detail.   

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