sending a message via a third person

All the letters by Paul start with the same expression in Wichí Lhamtés Güisnay with the same expression: Amtena ipuhfwas or “It has been time but now it is.”

Bill Mitchell (in Omanson 2001, p. 437) explains: “Languages have their own ways of marking different genres. When the Wichí of Argentina send a message by way of a third person it begins with a particular expression, which, if taken literally, would say: ‘it has been time but now it is.’ It may not communicate a whole lot in English, but it is indispensable in Wichí. In the Wichí New Testament the letters of Paul begin with this word.”