Difference Between High-Level Language and Low-Level Language



A language is basically a mode of communication, because it is used to share information, ideas, and opinions. In computer systems, programming languages are used by the software developers or programmers to creates applications or software systems. A programming language provides a way of writing computer instructions that are used to perform a specific task. Examples of computer programming languages include C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, Scala, Perl, C#, Groovy, Dart, etc.

Based on the closeness of a programming language to the system hardware (mainly processor), computer programming languages are classified into two categories namely, high-level languages and low-level languages. The most fundamental difference between the two is that low-level languages are closer to the system hardware and require the knowledge of hardware to write the instructions; whereas high-level programming languages are the machine independent languages that do not require the hardware knowledge to write instructions.

Read this tutorial to find out more about high-level and low-level programming languages and how they are different from each other.

What is a High-Level Language?

A High-Level Language is a computer programming language that uses English like statements to write the computer instructions. High level languages are most widely programming languages because they are easy to understand to human being.

Here is a list of some important characteristics of high-level languages −

  • It can be easily interpreted as well as compiled in comparison to low-level language.

  • It can be considered as a programmer-friendly language.

  • It is easy to understand.

  • It is easy to debug.

  • It is simple in terms of maintenance.

  • It requires a compiler/interpreter to be translated into machine code.

  • It can be run on different platforms.

  • It can be ported from one location to another.

  • It is less memory efficient, i.e., it consumes more memory in comparison to low-level languages.

  • Examples of high level languages include C, C++, Java, Python.

  • It is used widely in today's times.

What is a Low-Level Language?

A Low-Level Language is also a category of computer programming language in which the computer codes are written in the binary language or machine codes. Because of this, low-level language is sometimes also known as machine language. The low-level language is less friendly for human (programmer), but more friendly for machine because the computer processor can directly process the codes written in the low-level language.

The following are the important characteristics of a low-level language −

  • It can be understood easily by the machine.

  • It is considered as a machine-friendly language.

  • It is difficult to understand.

  • It is difficult to debug.

  • Its maintenance is also complex.

  • It is not portable.

  • It depends on the machine; hence it can't be run on different platforms.

  • It requires an assembler that would translate instructions.

  • It is not used widely in today's times.

We will now understand the differences between High-Level and Low-Level programming languages.

Difference between High-Level Language and Low-Level Language

The following table highlights all the major differences between high-level language and low-level language −

S.No.

High-Level Language

Low-Level Language

1.

It can be considered as a programmer-friendly language.

It is considered as a machine-friendly language.

2.

It requires a compiler/interpreter to be translated into machine code.

It requires an assembler that would translate instructions.

3.

It can be ported from one location to another.

It is not portable.

4.

It is easy to understand.

It is difficult to understand.

5.

It consumes less memory.

It is difficult to debug.

6.

It is less memory efficient, i.e., it consumes more memory in comparison to low-level languages.

It consumes less memory.

Conclusion

To conclude, high-level languages are more friendly for the programmer because they use English-like statements in the codes, whereas low-level languages are more machine-friendly because they use binary language codes to write the computer instructions.


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