Eesti Elu
Useful phrases
Arvamus 15 Mar 2013  Eesti Elu
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Riina Kindlam, Tallinn
Does not contain artificial preservatives. Photo: Riina Kindlam
 - pics/2013/03/38930_001_t.jpg

The break down: sisaldama means to contain. Sisu is what's inside. Sees = inside. Kunst is art. Kunstlik means artificial. Säilitama means to preserve. Säilivus/aeg (with a V) is the shelf life marked by a date until which a product is safe to eat. There are two of these: Kõlblik kuni (Good until) and Parim enne (Best before). In this case [/i]aine[/i] means matter, substance, ingredient (koostis/ained = ingredients). It can also mean a topic or subject (e.g. at school). Säilitusaine aitab toidul säilida ja pikendab tema säilivusaega – Preservatives help preserve food and lengthen its storage / shelf life.

Be sure to use the word säilitus/aine when speaking of preservatives found in food and not preservatiiv, since the latter means condom in Estonian (as does préservatif in French). Needless to say, some pretty hilarious food labels have resulted from poor translation...

What do condoms have to do with preservation, you might ask. The general meaning of preservatiiv = takistus-, hoide- või kaitse/vahend – an obstructive, sustaining or protective device. One meaning of preserve is "to protect or spare; to keep safe from harm or injury." Or unwanted pregnancy and STDs.
 
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