Rate is always part of a passionate discussion. How can you define your own value in a market that is so distinct and which hides its prices most of the time? What is too much and what is peanuts?
The golden rule is: what do you think you should earn, within your specific market? Take into account that there is no “translation market” (singular), but various niches (yes, plural), and also your language pair and area of specialization. My niche would be something like: English into Brazilian Portuguese, areas of specialization being Medical, Pharma and Business.
Besides that, you have to take into account how much you should (or want to) earn per month to live a comfortable life. If the number is ZYX 3000 per month, working 8 hours per day, 5 days per week (no holidays), then you should make XYZ $ 18.75 per hour. That is the trick – doing your math after deciding what will your lifestyle be, and not the other way round.
But there is more to consider when talking about defining your rate… Wait for Part II.