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ISO 639-2:1998, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code, is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. The three-letter codes given for each language in this part of the standard are referred to as "Alpha-3" codes. There are 464 entries in the list of ISO 639-2 codes.
The US Library of Congress is the registration authority for ISO 639-2 (referred to as ISO 639-2/RA). As registration authority, the LOC receives and reviews proposed changes; they also have representation on the ISO 639-RA Joint Advisory Committee responsible for maintaining the ISO 639 code tables.
Work was begun on the ISO 639-2 standard in 1989, because the ISO 639-1 standard, which gives two-letter codes for languages, would not be able to accommodate a sufficient number of languages. The ISO 639-2 standard was first released in 1998.
B and T codes 
While most languages are given one code by the standard, twenty of the languages described have two three-letter codes, a "bibliographic" code (ISO 639-2/B), which is derived from the English name for the language and was a necessary legacy feature, and a "terminological" code (ISO 639-2/T), which is derived from the native name for the language. Each of these twenty languages is also included in the ISO 639-1 standard. (There were 22 B codes; scc and scr are now deprecated.)
Scopes and types 
- Individual languages
- Collections of languages
- Reserved for local use
- Special situations
Types (for individual languages):
- Living languages
- Extinct languages
- Ancient languages
- Historic languages
- Constructed languages
Special situations 
There are codes for special situations:
- mis is listed as "uncoded languages"
- mul (for multiple languages) is applied when several languages are used and it is not practical to specify all the appropriate language codes
- The interval from qaa to qtz is reserved and is not used in the standard
- und (for undetermined) is used in situations in which a language or languages must be indicated but the language cannot be identified.
- zxx is listed in the code list as "no linguistic content" (added 2006-01-11)
Collective language codes 
Some ISO 639-2 codes that are commonly used for languages do not precisely represent a particular language or some related languages (as the above macrolanguages). They are regarded as collective language codes and are excluded from ISO 639-3. For a definition of macrolanguages and collective languages see .
The collective language codes in ISO 639-2 are listed below.
The following two codes are identified as collective codes in ISO 639-2 but are (at present) missing from ISO 639-5:
Codes registered for 639-2 that are listed as collective codes in ISO 639-5 (and collective codes by name in ISO 639-2):
- afa Afro-Asiatic languages
- alg Algonquian languages
- apa Apache languages
- art artificial languages
- ath Athapascan languages
- aus Australian languages
- bad Banda languages
- bai Bamileke languages
- bat Baltic languages
- ber Berber languages
- bnt Bantu languages
- btk Batak languages
- cai Central American Indian languages
- cau Caucasian languages
- cel Celtic languages
- cmc Chamic languages
- col Shilluk language
- cpe creoles and pidgins, English-based
- cpf creoles and pidgins, French-based
- cpp creoles and pidgins, Portuguese-based
- crp creoles and pidgins
- cus Cushitic languages
- day Land Dayak languages
- dra Dravidian languages
- fiu Finno-Ugrian languages
- gem Germanic languages
- ijo Ijo languages
- inc Indic languages
- ine Indo-European languages
- ira Iranian languages
- iro Iroquoian languages
- kar Karen languages
- khi Khoisan languages
- kro Kru languages
- map Austronesian languages
- mkh Mon–Khmer languages
- mno Manobo languages
- mun Munda languages
- myn Mayan languages
- nah Nahuatl languages
- nai North American Indian languages
- nic Niger–Congo languages
- nub Nubian languages
- oto Otomian languages
- paa Papuan languages
- phi Philippine languages
- pra Prakrit languages
- roa Romance languages
- sai South American Indian languages
- sal Salishan languages
- sem Semitic languages
- sgn sign languages
- sio Siouan languages
- sit Sino-Tibetan languages
- sla Slavic languages
- smi Sami languages
- son Songhai languages
- ssa Nilo-Saharan languages
- tai Tai languages
- tup Tupi languages
- tut Altaic languages
- wak Wakashan languages
- wen Sorbian languages
- ypk Yupik languages
- znd Zande languages
Special codes in ISO 639-2:
- und undetermined (language)
- mis uncoded language
- mul multiple languages
- zxx no linguistic content, not applicable
See also