The Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse Taalunie) is a joint effort of the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium) and Surinam to promote the Dutch language, Dutch language teaching and study of literature in the language. The union also cooperates with the Caribbean islands that have Dutch as an official language. The Taalunie ensures that the grammar rules are easily accessible for the language user and provides reliable Taaladvies (linguistic advice) via its website Taalunieversum. A commission of language experts meets regularly to formulate answers to frequently occurring questions. The Taalunie is also responsible for the official Dutch spelling. This is laid down in the Woordenlijst Nederlandse Taal (Dutch Language Wordlist). Every ten years the Woordenlijst is updated with new words.
As part of this mission, the Taalunie cooperates with The Instituut voor de Nederlandse Lexicologie (Institute for Dutch Lexicology) in Leiden whose website contains information about Dutch words, including pre-medieval words. The pièce de resistance is the Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal (The Dictionary of the Dutch Language), the largest dictionary in the world. The official grammar of the Dutch language is set out in the Algemene Nederlandse Spraakkunst (ANS) (General Dutch Grammar), a handbook produced with the support of the Taalunie. The electronic version is available free of charge here.
Available services of Nederlandse Taalunie:
– General aspects of the Dutch language: www.taalunieversum.org
– General Dutch Grammar: http://ans.ruhosting.nl/e-ans/
– Linguistic advice: www.taaladvies.net
– Dutch spelling: www.woordenlijst.org
– The Dictionary of the Dutch Language: www.inl.nl
– Dutch literature, language and cultural history: www.dbnl.nl