Who is English DNA? Find out about the company behind the app.



Who is English DNA? Find out about the company behind the app.

The English DNA story

How we got from idea to app

It all began with Dr Paul Sulzberger's doctoral thesis in Applied Linguistics.  He explored two essential questions, both of them fundamental to non-native language speakers:

  1. Why is it so hard for people to learn a new language when they acquired their mother tongue with unconscious ease?
  2. If we can isolate the critical factors underpinning making learning the first language simple, can we replicate and apply them to learning a second or a third language?

Did he find the answers?

To cut a long story short, yes he did. It is possible to eliminate a lot of the pain people endure learning another language and, often expected as coming with the territory. 

And then Paul met Susan

When Paul met Susan they clicked. Both are passionate about language and  soon she was telling him about the sort of app she wanted to develop to help the many non-native English speakers who visited her site write-out-loud.com with problems she couldn't satisfactorily find solutions for on her own. 

After hearing about the preliminary work Paul had done to toward an app based on his research he called English DNA the pair decided to unite to bring the app to the world. To do that they needed help; like-minded people to join them on the journey. 

Enter Roger and Sam

Roger brings his expertise as a project manager, considerable background in technology, product development and international experience. Because English is not his native tongue he is acutely aware of the on-going struggles many people have to acquire and competently use another language.

Sam is our programmer and designer. He is charged with manifesting the brilliance of the English DNA app - making it efficient, elegant and easy to use. 

Together we form English DNA, a small collaborative company with a very large goal: making learning to speak English a whole easier. 

We welcome your contact

We love talking about English DNA. If you have questions please ask them.


Our people

Paul Sulzberger, Roger Lam, Sam Parkin, & Susan Dugdale - the people behind the English DNA app. Find out more.

Our people

Paul Sulzberger, Roger Lam, Sam Parkin, & Susan Dugdale - the people behind the English DNA app. Find out more.

Meet the team

Paul Sulzberger

Product Development
E: paul.sulzberger@english-dna.com


Paul was born in New Zealand and studied second language teaching methodology at Moscow State University in the late 1960’s. He completed his MA (Hons) degrees in modern languages and political science at Victoria University, Wellington. Later in life he completed his PhD in Applied Linguistics.

During the 1970’s Paul taught Russian at New Zealand’s Otago University and then worked as a translator and interpreter for the New Zealand Government in the early to mid 1980s. In 1986, in collaboration with several other colleagues, he established his own translation company, New Zealand Translation Centre Ltd, which grew into the largest professional document translation provider in Australasia.

Paul has had wide experience in virtually all aspects of the translation industry from working as professional translator, an IT specialist dealing with computing in foreign languages to managing a translation company with a full-time complement of approximately 50 staff. 


Roger Lam

Business Development
E: roger.lam@english-dna.com


Roger was born and educated in Hong Kong China as an IT professional.  

After moving to NZ in 1990, he spent 13 years with a major international technology company working in a variety of roles including system development, application and data architecture,  pre-sales, as well as development, people, and project management.  

He then got involved in a new venture with a UK based company becoming one of its first two NZ based consultants.  Through that opportunity Roger extended his skills in business development while working on onsite projects in four different countries. 

In addition to his formal IT training, Roger is a PMP and PRINCE2 certificate project manager.

Roger understands the importance and challenges involved in learning a new language.  He is passionate about sharingEnglish DNA technology with those who need it.


Sam Parkin

E: sam.parkin@english-dna.com


Sam has been programming for over 30 years after first learning the BASIC language to enable an Sinclair ZX81 to play rudimentary games.

A lifelong technologist he studied Computer Science at Massey University and Information Technology at the Waikato Polytechnic before moving from his New Zealand home to the United Kingdom. After spending 8 years abroad he left London's financial services industry to return to New Zealand to integrate with Wellington's vibrant startup community.

Sam helps run the Wellington PHP User Group, pioneered some of New Zealand's first Facebook and Twitter applications and has provided technical consultancy services for several Wellington startups. 

As a hardware hacker you can often find him tinkering with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino micro-controller or fundraising for charity as part of international Star Wars costuming organisation The 501st Legion. 


Susan Dugdale

Marketing & Communications
E: susan.dugdale@english-dna.com


New Zealander, Susan Dugdale has loved words for as long as she can remember. As a child she read voraciously; alternating between imagining herself as either a writer or an actress when she grew up. What actually happened was gaining a Bachelor of Social Science in English and psychology followed by a teaching diploma. She taught English and drama at a high school level for many years.

Over the last decade she has become increasingly interested in the internet as a means to connect searchers for specialist information with providers. Her personal website write-out-loud.com, offering public speaking assistance, begun in 2006, now attracts thousands of daily visitors from all over the world. Many of these visitors ask for help, particularly non-native English speakers. Their most frequent request is for pronunciation guidance; support in the learning of English. Out of a quest to address that need the collaborative English DNA partnership was born.

If you have questions you'd like answered about English DNA