There has been a recent blog article about Tokyopop and falling translator wages which some believe has led to a decline in translation quality. The DMG also rates a mention: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/20
This has always been an issue in the translation market and will continue to be an issue until the magical day when companies and clients agree on the value of a translation. 1 out of 3 freelance jobs I apply for I get told my standard rates (read average) are too high. (This is even worse with the ease of access to machine translations now. I feel for the more common/closer to English language translators (ie Spanish.)) It has ALWAYS been a fight for decent wages as a translator, maybe some where lucky and had steady in-house translation jobs at good wages for many years but those are honestly few and far between, especially now.
"Why pay for a professional translator when I have a this other person with no experience but hey they've spoken these two languages their wholes lives so they must be able to translate just fine!" (Yes this is a logical fallacy A+B does not = C.)
And what do I say to them. That's fine, I will not lower my rates and then I laugh when I see them posting the same job weeks/months later on the translation boards. Real translation is not a hobby it is a job. It is a job that requires study and practice and experience. Yes, there are some people with the capabilities to simply translate well with only having learned two langues in the course of their life (people in two language households etc.) But the majority cannot.
Yes, as a translator I am taking a risk on this DMP project. But in this economy I can't afford not to take the risk. Freelance jobs are getting harder and harder to get. My in-house job will be going away in August (yet another Japanese company in the US shutting down US operations.) But it has the potential to pay fairly well. Yes 3-4 tanks a month is a decent amount but it is not impossible. But they have said from the beginning this is not a hobby, it's actual work and should be treated as such.
Any professional translator is expected to be able to translate 1000-3000 words a day at the least. Most do 2 to 3 times that during heavy work periods. The majority of manga chapters are probably around 1000-3000 words I'm guessing, if that. (Yes there are some really hard works (medical/historical) that will be way above this, but those are special cases and not the norm.) This should be able to be done in 1-2 hours as Jessy said (as most of it is fairly simple dialog and most are vary similar to each other... seriously.) It is not an impossible task nor above the usual call of duty for a professional/freelance translator.
As to quality. Yes there will be some more inexperienced groups that will have a lower quality of work because of the time crunch but these will be weeded out pretty quickly. Also I believe I said somewhere previously. Our group names/individual names will be on each release we do. The end users/audience will very quickly figure out who does quality work and who doesn't and in turn follow/avoid the works those groups do. Which means those that still turn out quality work 'should' by market dynamics be getting more money which is incentive to put out more quality.
Personally I think this is a much more fair way to pay based on quality/market value of a groups work than just by a flat fee that is the same across all groups regardless of quality or accuracy.
Also I agree with that commenter Chris Jones. Old translations of manga (yes even TokyoPop) were for the most part hideous. I remember in high school hanging with Japanese speaking friends in the book stores and laughing over the bad English and just plain wrong translations of manga we'd already read in Japanese. (I haven't checked anything specifically lately but it seems most manga translation seems to be overall better quality.) Of course there were "stand out" incredibly good translations back then just as there are today, but again, that was not the norm and still isn't.
I do however agree that DMP is being a bit unrealistic on the volume they want to put out over-all. 1000's of titles a year will just water down the market. 100-200 would be more realistic and better for the market (even if it isn't for the publishers) over all. I wouldn't mind them taking a Crunchyroll approach to this if they get bigger publishers on board later on. Putting out popular series online fairly quickly after they are published in Japan (like with crunchyroll this would require the Japanese publisher to release the work to DMP BEFORE the Japanese release to allow time for translation.) I'm sure many groups will not make it past the first rush and they will always be looking for more groups and translators because many will not be able to handle the high pressure if they are not used to it.
As to doing a volume in 7-10 days. Only the first will be a crunch I think, for organized serious groups. Basically you take a assembly line approach. Your group can be working on all three volumes at one time, just at different stages. The translator does not have to wait for the typesetting to be done to start on the next volume. Which is why I think DMP is so adamant that people work in groups.
Sorry if this seems harsh or anything, but I know some of us translation as a full time job and don't like getting knocked for trying to make a living in a horrible market (even by other translators as well meaning as they might be.) We are not all as lucky as Matt Thorn to have been around and experienced at the very beginning of the manga/Japanese import revolution. So we can't all expect to have cushy well paying in-house jobs waiting for us. DMP Guild project is a good way to the experienced among us to make a bit more money and the new-comers to see if they can cut it (and make some extra cash while possibly establishing their name, which to do this well requires quality.) Those of us that are serious will be fine, others will fall by the wayside as it is with any freelance situation.
//opps, sorry for wall of text T.T//