Deborah Adlam is from Edinburgh in the UK and was educated at James Gillespie's High School, Edinburgh, an academically selective school where she gained a wide range of SCE Higher qualifications at Grade A including Latin, French and Russian.

She graduated from Edinburgh University in 1982 with a first class MA honours degree in Classics (Latin and Greek languages and literature), having started Classical Greek while at university. As an undergraduate her awards included an Arts Faculty Bursary, Carnegie Vacation Scholarship, Society of Writers to the Signet Prize in Honours Latin, Butcher Memorial Prize in Greek, and the Scott and Dunbar Prize in Honours Greek.

She also specialised in Classical and Indo-European Philology which provides a deeper understanding of the origins and structures of words, and the relations between languages and dialects. Additionally she studied Russian language and literature for two years, gaining medals and first class certificates.

From 1983 to 1986 she carried out research into Silver Age Latin Epic Poetry as a postgraduate student at Oxford University where she developed further skills in research techniques as well as an advanced knowledge of German. She was awarded a Travel Scholarship to study in the Vatican Library, Rome. In Oxford she represented classicists on the General Faculties Committee and was elected Vice-President of Somerville College MCR (postgraduate community).

Since graduating she has regularly worked as a private tutor of adults in Latin and Greek, from the 1980s to the present day.

In 1992 she obtained a PGCE in Latin, Greek, Classical Civilisation and Russian from Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow, now Strathclyde University. She later taught Latin and Greek in independent schools such as Abingdon School in Oxfordshire where she replaced the Head of the Classics department in 1995. She has worked as a nationwide examiner in A-level Greek literature, being sole examiner in this subject for Eton College, Westminster School, Winchester College etc.

She is also a Royal Society of Arts certificated Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (1987), with substantial teaching experience in this field.

Since 1987 she has provided a Latin translation service to academics, writers, solicitors, landowners, political campaigners and local and family historians. Demand has increased from the late 1990s onwards.

As a stagiaire/administrative trainee in the General Secretariat of the Commission of the EU, Brussels (1988), she translated French documents. In the 1990s she worked as a freelance Russian translator of agricultural and Human Rights documents.

A wide general knowledge is an asset to a translator. Deborah Adlam's non-linguistic qualifications include physical geography at university level and mathematics, English literature and art history at Higher level. She regularly assists the National Trust with botanical surveys. Her interests include natural sciences, extensive foreign travel, cycle-touring the UK, piano-playing and choral singing.