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An exhibition of carved Vermont maple boards depicting many of the world's endangered forms of writing.
An exhibition of carved Vermont maple boards depicting many of the world's endangered forms of writing.
533 backers pledged $17,881 to help bring this project to life.

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Help! We have fallen back by $5,000!

Dear Friend of the Endangered Alphabets:

We need your help because of a totally unexpected and new (to me) difficulty. 

It looks on the home page of our current Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict) as though we are very close to meeting our goal of $10,000, but in fact the situation is nothing like as rosy.

Because of a software glitch, we actually have $5,000 less in pledges than the Kickstarter page shows. Far from being comfortably around $9,000, we are actually just over $4,000.

We're working to correct the situation, but in the meantime I am in the awkward position of having to solicit support for our campaign and correct a misleading impression. 

Hence this update. If by chance you were looking at our campaign with a general sense of goodwill, feeling we don't need your backing as we are inches away from our goal with more than two weeks still to go, please know that we do, indeed need your support. 

In fact, we need more than $300 a day in new pledges every day until February 26th. It's certainly doable, but it means we have to pick up our combined efforts right away.

If you can help us, we will certainly appreciate it, as I appreciate your understanding of this awkward and frustrating situation.

With best wishes,

Tim

To illustrate this rapid shift in the financial climate of our campaign, here's one of our Hill Tracts language postcards, designed by Irina Wang: it shows the word "storm" in Marma.
To illustrate this rapid shift in the financial climate of our campaign, here's one of our Hill Tracts language postcards, designed by Irina Wang: it shows the word "storm" in Marma.

 

$10,000 by the Tenth! Of February, that is.

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 Well, we succeeded in the Super Weekend $500 challenge, thanks to Laurie Price, Alec Julien and Chris McLaren. By the time the Patriots were mounting their comeback, these three had intercepted and sacked the $500, and it was lying defeated on the goal line.

Next goal: $10,000 in total pledges. At this point we're hoping to reach our stretch goal of $15,000 by the campaign is over, which would enable us to print more copies of the dictionary and get it into not only the schools but the communities. But first we have to get to $10,000.

At the rate our supporters are coming forward, we should be able to get there by Friday, February 10th. So let's set that as our aim: noon EST on Friday. Please back us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict/.

Ten thousand by the tenth. Let's do it!

Thanks so much.

The $500 Super Weekend

 For a Brit, I have a perhaps surprising fascination with American football, and like, oh, a few dozen other people I'll be watching the Super Bowl.

But a Kickstarter waits for nobody, and we need to keep moving forward raising money for the children's endangered languages dictionary project even if we have to push through the popcorn and beer to make pledges. So let's set a clear goal: an additional $500 in new pledges by Monday at 9 a.m.

So please join Mark Turin, Sefanya, Nora Miller and Iva Kravitz in supporting us.

And remember I've added a new reward: a carving of the Marma proverb, "It is only the pupils who become masters," a special limited edition of three. I'll even sign the back.

Thanks again for your interest and encouragement, and let's all plan to feel good on Monday morning, whatever the result.

Tim

Progress, thanks, and a new reward

A joyful, novel event: a schoolgirl in the Chittagong Hill Tracts writing her own name in her own language. This would be unthinkable outside the schools we're helping, and this is why we're raising the funds to publish a dictionary in her language.
A joyful, novel event: a schoolgirl in the Chittagong Hill Tracts writing her own name in her own language. This would be unthinkable outside the schools we're helping, and this is why we're raising the funds to publish a dictionary in her language.

   A fine few days on the fundraising front, thanks to Omar Khan, Ann Sprayregen, Ted Laskaris, Ivan Brenes, Michele Kupersmith, Johnny Powell, John Tollefsen, mflgrmp, Kim Wilson, and Darren Cameron. Things are moving along so nicely we may be able to fund the first expansion of the original 100-word edition of the dictionary. Thanks so much to you all.

And with thanks in mind, I've created a new reward: one of my carvings--actually three of my carvings--featuring a very Zen-like proverb from the Chittagong Hill Tracts, written in the Marma language and alphabet: "It is only the pupils who become the masters." I suspect these will be snapped up quickly, so please support us right away at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict!

Thanks again, everyone.

Heartfelt thanks, news from our game, and we need a $500 day!

I can't say it any more clearly than this photo does: kids from the Chittagong Hill Tracts entranced by a book created and published by the partnership of the Endangered Alphabets Project, Our Golden Hour, and the Champlain College Publishing class.
I can't say it any more clearly than this photo does: kids from the Chittagong Hill Tracts entranced by a book created and published by the partnership of the Endangered Alphabets Project, Our Golden Hour, and the Champlain College Publishing class.

First, some very good news. Our current Kickstarter campaign has picked up momentum again, thanks to support from Jill Chase, Nicholas Doiron, Jackson Greer, Kim Hinson, Linda Schiffer, Giustina Selvelli, and Bob Twomey. I don't know which makes me feel more grateful--those who are backing us for the first time, or those who have backed us yet again. The link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/100-words-for-a-childrens-endangered-language-dict.

Now, some fun news. To highlight our project and to stay sane at this stressful time, I sent out a challenge inviting people to send me the word "dictionary" in as many different languages as possible. I'm going to print them out and stick them to my daughter's bedroom door. (She's studying in Paris, and these are a playful take on the Wall of Languages in Montmartre.) You can see the progress of this game and send your own submissions by finding and friending me on Facebook. So far my favorite translation of "dictionary" is "D@NearPalm-PalmDown-OpenB@CenterChesthigh-PalmUp."

Finally, the urgent news: in order to stay on track WE NEED TO RAISE AT LEAST $500 IN PLEDGES IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. Please take this seriously. Rally your friends. Copy and paste this appeal to your blog, or to a language blog you know, or in an email to colleagues. Print it out and post it up in your library. The only way we're going to make this goal is by recruiting an ever-expanding range of supporters.

Thanks, everyone.

Tim

Part of the Wall of Languages in Montmartre
Part of the Wall of Languages in Montmartre