Hi everyone,

I'm in need of some answers to about a million questions about starting up my freelance translating business. I would really appreciate the advice of some experienced individuals on these seemingly simple yet puzzling issues.

1) What is the best way to determine rates for general translations? Say website text for a barbecue store. No formatting just straight text. From what I can ascertain I should charge by the word?

2) Do I charge by the source language word count or the target language word count? My source is usually Spanish and my target is usually English but I translate both ways. Translating into Spanish is harder for me though so would I charge more to translate into Spanish?

3) I plan to use a proofreader. How much should I pay this person? Also by the word? How much more should I pay them if they format a document for me as well?

4) Should I get business cards printed in Spanish and English? How important is this?

5) I've heard people talk about their translation portfolio. What exactly would one be comprised of and how (and to whom) would it be presented?

6) Are there any organizations in the San Diego area that anyone recommends that I join?

7) Should I join the American Translators Association?

I would be so incredibly grateful for any input from experienced translators! Thank you in advance for your time.