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 .
Library of Congress
* 1 History and relationship to other ISO 639 standards * 2 B and T codes
* 3 Scopes and types
* 3.1 Collections of languages
* 3.2 Reserved for local use
* 4 See also * 5 External links
HISTORY AND RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER ISO 639 STANDARDS
Work was begun on the ISO 639-2 standard in 1989, because the ISO 639-1 standard, which uses only two-letter codes for languages, is not able to accommodate a sufficient number of languages. The ISO 639-2 standard was first released in 1998.
In practice, ISO 639-2 has largely been superseded by ISO 639-3 (2007), which includes codes for all the individual languages in ISO 639-2 plus many more. It also includes the special and reserved codes, and is designed not to conflict with ISO 639-2. ISO 639-3, however, does not include any of the collective languages in ISO 639-2; most of these are included in ISO 639-5 .
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 and resembles the language's two-letter code in ISO 639-1. There were originally 22 B codes; SCC and SCR are now deprecated.
SCOPES AND TYPES
The codes in ISO 639-2 have a variety of "scopes of denotation", or types of meaning and use, some of which are described in more detail below.
Individual languages are further classified as to type:
* Living languages * Extinct languages * Ancient languages * Historic languages * Constructed languages
COLLECTIONS OF LANGUAGES
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:
* bih Bihari (has the ISO 639-1 code bh) * him Himachali
Codes registered for 639-2 that are listed as collective codes in ISO 639-5 (and collective codes by name in ISO 639-2):
RESERVED FOR LOCAL USE
There are four generic codes for special situations:
* MIS is listed as "uncoded languages" (originally an abbreviation for "miscellaneous") * MUL (for multiple languages) is applied when several languages are used and it is not practical to specify all the appropriate language codes * 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", e.g. animal sounds (added 2006-01-11)
These four codes are also used in ISO 639-3 .
* List of ISO 639-2 codes * Language code