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We aim to create beautiful carved signs and the first books ever printed in some of the endangered indigenous languages in Bangladesh.
We aim to create beautiful carved signs and the first books ever printed in some of the endangered indigenous languages in Bangladesh.
266 backers pledged $11,051 to help bring this project to life.

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When the astonishing happens

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 Great news: we hit the $1,000 Weekend goal!

This puts us at roughly $6,500, with $3,500 still to go and six days to raise it.

This is the final week.

The final week is the time of greatest tension, but also the time when astonishing things happen.

In the last week of the Endangered Alphabets last Kickstarter campaign, several people with no disposable income to speak of pledged $10. Two people—you know who you are—raised their own $10 pledges to $100. People from all over the world, people I'd never heard of, pledged support in all kinds of ways. And one person stepped out of the shadows and pledged $3,000 to get us over the line.

I don’t know how these things happen, so I can’t make them happen, so there’s a sense of the miraculous when they do happen.

All I can do is throw this out there: Hey, everyone. It’s the last week. Let’s do this thing.

You know the address: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/.

These are the people we want to serve

 These are the people we want to be able to serve: the roughly 700,000 people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Specifically the dozen or so ethnic peoples who have lived in this region for centuries, farming, fishing, weaving some of the most beautiful textiles in the world.

They are in grave and imminent danger of losing their language, and especially their written language, and everything that entails. The schools we partner with are doing something innovative and vital: teaching them to read and write in their own mother tongues.

 We support the resolution of International Mother Language Day, which asserts the rights of all people to be able to use their own mother tongues. This in turn leads to a sense of value in their own culture, history, identity.

Please help us in this crucial final week. Our Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/ is trying to make a small start--only 100 words--with an immense implication, not only in the Hill Tracts but around the world. We need to raise another $4,000. Please help in any way you can.

Thanks.

  

 

Now or never, and the kitchen sink

Dear Friends of the Endangered Alphabets:

It's now or never. We have less than 10 days to raise more than $5,000 in our current campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict), and the urgency level has just reached critical. 

If you've been half-thinking of supporting us, please hesitate no longer.

So in order to help crank open those rusty floodgates, I'm throwing the kitchen sink at you in terms of rewards. (Apologies for the mixed plumbing metaphors, there. It's a symptom of stress.)

FIRST NEW REWARD: THE ENDANGERED ALPHABETS TRAVEL MUG

Sturdy, handy, attractive, thermally insulated, the accessory every busy person needs. Featuring a still life photo by my daughter Zoe Brookes showing my work in progress.

The Endangered Alphabets travel mug
The Endangered Alphabets travel mug

 SECOND NEW REWARD: THE MARMA PROVERB MUG

Carved live at the Smithsonian, this coffee mug displays a proverb in Marma, one of the languages we'll be including in our children's pictorial dictionary. I mean, who else will have a coffee mug like this?

The Marma Proverb Mug reward. Imagine it on your kitchen counter!
The Marma Proverb Mug reward. Imagine it on your kitchen counter!

 THIRD NEW REWARD: THE MARMA NOTEBOOK

What better way to jot down your thoughts on language as you travel? An elegant, well-made and eminently practical notebook displaying the Marma proverb I carved at the Smithsonian.

The Marma Proverb Notebook reward. Make a note of it!
The Marma Proverb Notebook reward. Make a note of it!

 FOURTH NEW REWARD: PRINT OF THE CHAKMA HUMAN RIGHTS CARVING IN PROGRESS

One of my first acts to support Our Golden Hour as they began developing the schools where indigenous children can be educated in their own mother tongues was to carve the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their languages, for display in the schools. This is the Chakma version in progress, showing the method to my method. Chakma is one of the languages that will be included in our children's picture-book dictionary.

A print, suitable for framing of my Chakma carving in progress
A print, suitable for framing of my Chakma carving in progress

 FIFTH NEW REWARD: MY ENDANGERED ALPHABETS BOOK

This is the book that tells the story of the Alphabets, from making Christmas presents on my dining-room table to getting emails from strangers in Ulan Baatar and Djakarta sending me pieces of text to carve. Lavishly illustrated, as they say. Expanded second edition with more photos, more alphabets, and the notoriously hard Endangered Alphabets Quiz.

 If none of these rewards thrills you, suggest others! But whatever you do please back us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/, and please forward this link or this update to anyone who you think might be interested, nudging them gently but firmly.

Thanks

Tim

Thanks, and two new rewards

The phrase "Mother Tongue" in Mro, one of the endangered languages of the Chittagong Hill Tracts we plan to include in our children's dictionary.
The phrase "Mother Tongue" in Mro, one of the endangered languages of the Chittagong Hill Tracts we plan to include in our children's dictionary.

  As the deadline for our current Kickstarter approaches, we're starting to gain some of the velocity we need to reach that $10,000 goal, thanks to Greta Bell, Kathy Leo-Nyquist, Josh Koehn, Paul Tacon, Tor Iver Wilhelmsen and Irina Wang. To all of you, sincere gratitude.

As one way of showing our thanks, we're offering a new reward: anyone who pledges $20 or more at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/ will have his or her name included in a special acknowledgments page in the dictionary. This includes everyone who has already pledged!

And the other new reward is in the photo at the head of this update: for anyone who pledges $350 or more, I'll carve the iconic phrase "Mother tongue"--the right to speak, read and write in one's own language that is at the heart of everything the Endangered Alphabets does--in cherrywood. 

What better way to display your commitment to this children's-dictionary project and the commitment to cultural diversity it represents? 

Good news, less-good news, and great news

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One of the postcard rewards designed for us by Irina Wang. It shows some of the children from the first of the Our Golden Hour schools, with "Marma boys" written in Marma. A pledge at the level of $25 earns a pack of five assorted Irina Wang postcards.
One of the postcard rewards designed for us by Irina Wang. It shows some of the children from the first of the Our Golden Hour schools, with "Marma boys" written in Marma. A pledge at the level of $25 earns a pack of five assorted Irina Wang postcards.

 At last! The good news is that the troublesome glitch has been fixed, and our home page shows exactly where we stand. The less-good news is that we still need to raise over $5,000 with only 13 days left, but we've managed that last-minute dash before. And the great news is that Kickstarter has honored us with one of their "Projects We Love" designations. 

Right. Final stretch. Time to pull out all the stops and barrel toward the finish line. Please do whatever you can:

share the current campaign's link, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict,

talk the project up among friends and colleagues, 

suggest new rewards, 

post to groups of like-minded people,

increase your pledge if you can afford to do so. 

You are the ideal ambassadors we need, and I am so grateful you are with us.

Thanks.

Tim