Literature and foreign culture

Language Union policy on literature and reading encouragement supplements that of the Netherlands and Flanders. It focuses on cooperation between the Netherlands and Flanders and, where useful and possible, also Suriname.

Digital Library of Dutch Literature

Dutch has a rich literary tradition. The Dutch Language Union wants to open up and promote the Dutch literary heritage. Thousands of literary texts from the middle ages to modern day can be read online at the Digitale Bibliotheek van de Nederlandse Letteren (Digital Library of Dutch Literature), which is financed by the Dutch Language Union.

Centre of Expertise for Literary Translation

Together with the Letterenfondsen (Foundation for Literature) of the Netherlands and Flanders, the Expertisecentrum Literair Vertalen (Centre of Expertise for Literary Translation) supports the advancement of expertise in the field of literary translation into and from Dutch. The centre is a partnership between the University of Utrecht and the Lessius Higher Education College in Antwerp.

Literary awards

The Dutch Language Union awards a number of major literary prizes:

  • The tri-annual Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (Prize for Dutch Literature) is the most important literary award in the Dutch language region and is presented alternately by the Belgian king and the Dutch queen.
  • In addition, each year young people give the Inktaap award to one of the winners of the major commercial literary prizes in the language region.
  • The Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs (Language Union Playwright Prize) is annually awarded to playwrights of an original Dutch langauge theatre play that was staged for the first time in the preceding season.