SOAS University of London

Centre for Translation Studies

A Brief Introduction to Audio Description and our Workflows


Date: 4 December 2019Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 4 December 2019Time: 4:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51a

Type of Event: Seminar

Speaker: Shak Yousaf


As part of the seminar series for the SOAS Centre for Translation Studies, I would intend to present a talk entitled Creating Audio Description in Multiple Languages. I would introduce the concept of Audio Description (AD); an accessibility service which enables blind or partially sighted people to enjoy visual entertainment, by narrating to them elements they cannot see. I would focus on how we (SDI Media) create the AD projects in English and what the workflow involves to translate and voice these in other languages. I would hope that as well as relating to what the students are studying, it would provide some valuable insight from an ‘industry perspective’ and give curious students some knowledge about how AD translation can be applied in the ‘professional world’. As part of the talk, I would naturally open the floor for any questions the students or staff may have. The one-hour talk would consist of a 45-minute presentation and 15 minutes for Q&A. I would end my talk in my regular fashion where I would say that anyone who is curious to engage further, ‘our doors are open’ and they are welcome to contact me and visit SDI Media at any time.


Shak Yousaf is the Audio Description (AD) Manager at SDI Media. After a couple of years as a freelance AD Script Writer and Voiceover, he joined SDI Media to expand their AD offering, in line with an increase in client demand and new regulations around the provision of Access Services.

Over the past six years, Shak has expanded SDI Media's capability to create Audio Description. He has overseen projects in six languages, has trained dozens of translators, voiceovers and staff and built a team of nearly twenty highly skilled script and voice talents. Shak works with colleagues globally to help them coordinate their AD projects, from advice on pricing proposals and timelines to working directly with the talents and supervising recording sessions.

Being a former radio presenter and currently a part-time sports commentator, Shak has had much experience in public speaking and presenting. For SDI Media, he has presented talks on Audio Description at the 2018 Languages & Media conference in Berlin, as well as several universities, including UCL, Sheffield Hallam, University of Manchester and others.

SDI Media has created Audio Description for cinema, home entertainment, TV, and online platforms.