What are the different computer languages?

The programming languages are used to give instructions to the computer in a language which a computer can understand.

Computer languages are classified into three types as follows −

  • Machine languages
  • Symbolic languages
  • High level languages

Machine languages

Computer is a machine. Since, its memory can store only 1’s and 0’s, instructions must be given to the computer in streams of 1’s and 0’s i.e. binary code.

These are easily understandable by the machine.

Programs written in binary code can be directly entered into computer for execution and it is known as machine language.

Advantages of machine language include −

  • Execution is very fast.
  • It is very difficult to write and read the programs which are in machine language.
  • Machine instructions are difficult to remember.

Symbolic Languages

It is also called as assembly language.

An assembly program contains "Mnemonics”.

"Mnemonic” means information which can be memorized easily in the form of abbreviations.

The advantages of symbolic languages include −

  • Assembly language is easy to read and write when compared to machine language.

  • Mnemonics are easy to remember.

The disadvantages include −

  • Assembly programs are machine dependent.
  • Execution is slow.
  • "Assembler” converts the assembly language into machine language.

High level Languages

A language that is close to native language is called high level language.

It has control structures, I/O facilities.

For example, FORTRAN, COBOL, PASCAL, C, C++ etc.

The advantages of high level languages are as follows −

  • Machine independence i.e. programs are "Portable”.
  • Easy to learn and understand.
  • Takes less time to write programs.

The disadvantages are as follows −

  • High level language programs requires a translator for conversion into machine language.

  • ‘Compilers’ (or) ‘Interpreters’ are used for converting high level language into machine language.

  • Compiler converts entire instructions in the program at a time. Interpreter converts one statement at a time.

Updated on: 11-Mar-2021


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