Eesti Elu
Useful phrases
Eestlased Eestis 29 May 2013 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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 - pics/2013/05/39448_001_t.jpg
PHOTO: Just because you don't use a term or phrase very often doesn't mean it's not useful. If you see this sign, at least you'll know where you're headed. You could also use this technically impressive, very contemporary pair of compound words to wow other Estonian-speakers. Photo: Riina Kindlam

Riina Kindlam, Tallinn

The break-down: EHITUS – building (both verb/activity and noun), to build = ehitama. Jäätmed = waste. Most Estonian-speakers who have spent most, or all of their lives abroad will call garbage prügi or praht. That's perfectly correct. Prügi/tünn (garbage can), prahi/hunnik (pile of waste), prügi/auto or -veok ([/i]veo/auto[/i]) are still part of everyday life and speech in Estonia today. And even though a lot of people call a dump or landfill site a prügi/mägi ("garbage hill"), its official name is prügila.

JÄÄTMED (waste) is a more specific and formal term for that which jääb – (remains) post-production, post-building, post-party. Jääk = what's left over. Toidu/jäägid = food scraps. The term is almost always used in the plural (jäätmed vs sing. jääde) and implies that although usually no longer fit for its initial use, it can still be used as raw, re-usable material, e.g. vana/paber ("old", i.e. used paper), vana/metall and tootmis/jääde – manufacturing waste.
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