Translators may be sole traders but they do not work alone. Far from it! Thanks to CPD events, conferences, professional institutes, networking events and of course the internet, translators meet and stay in regular contact with fellow linguists who work in the same or different language pairs and in a range of specialist areas.
This makes the one translator you may know a very valuable contact indeed. Whatever language combination you need, your linguist will probably know of a suitable person. If not, they can help you to source them as they will know where to look and what to look for (areas of expertise, experience, qualifications, relevant memberships, etc.). This means that through one person, you can find a whole team of professionals for your various multilingual projects.
By dealing directly with each language representative, you can also learn first-hand about the culture you are trying to communicate with. Knowing a little more about the other culture enables you to tailor your message and approach accordingly and to better understand the other side’s messages, intentions and expectations, too. There is more to translation than foreign words.
Furthermore, what these language partners may not tell you is that they sometimes communicate with one another regarding the project at hand, helping each other to find useful references online that explain any specific jargon, a better turn of phrase, a witty pun to match yours, or aligning their choices of vocabulary or terminology and style. This cooperation can speed up the process a little, improves the quality, and in the case of multilingual projects, ensures better consistency across all languages. In a nutshell, you get better results.
No translator is an island. So even if you only know one translator, they may still be able to help you with other languages and specialisms. Just ask!