Computer languages

What are computer languages?

As we all know human languages are known as natural languages. Unfortunately, computers can not understand natural languages, as a result we have to communicate with computers using computer languages. These languages are:

  • High level languages
  • Low level languages
  • Assembly languages
  • Machine Languages

The architecture of computer languages is given below.

Computer language architecture

High level languages:

HLL is the set of words and symbol which a programmer uses to write a program. It is much closer to human language. A programming language such as C, FORTRAN or Pascal that is used write programs which is understandable to programmer. From that he can perform any sort of task, such languages are considered high-level because they are closer to human languages. High level language must use interpreter, compiler or translator to convert human understandable program to computer readable code (machine code). There are may high level languages. Some examples are:

  • C and C++
  • JAVA
  • .Net

Advantages of high level languages:

  • They are near to English language (human readable), that is why they are easier to read, write and maintain.
  • High-level languages make complex programming to simple one.
  • High level languages is portable, i.e., they can work on different operating system.
  • Length of the program is also small.
  • Many real time problems can be easily solved with high level language.

Low level languages:

A low-level language is a programming language that deals with a computer’s hardware components and constraints. It has no (or only a minute level of) abstraction in reference to a computer and works to manage a computer’s operational semantics. A low-level language may also be referred to as a computer’s native language. It basically deals with hardware registers by name is known as assembly language. Assembly language is the best example of low level language, it is in between machine language and high-level language. A low-level language does not need a compiler or interpreter to run the program, the processor run low-level code directly. It is used for:

  • Writing games or simulation program
  • Writing operating systems
  • Programming robots
  • Computers viruses, certain device drivers or other items very close to the hardware or low-level OS.

Assembly language:

An assembly language is a low-level programming language for microprocessors and other programmable devices. It is not just a single language, but rather a group of languages. An assembly language implements a symbolic representation of the machine code needed to program a given CPU architecture. Assembly languages have the same structure and set of commands as machine languages, but they enable a programmer to use names instead of numbers. In the early days of programming all programs were written in assembly language but now almost programs are written in a high-level language. Each assembly language is specific to a particular computer architecture, in contrast to most high level programming languages, which are generally portable across multiple systems. It uses mnemonic codes (short forms) for instructions and allows the programmer to introduce names for blocks of memory that hold data. Assembly language is designed to be easily translated into machine language.

Machine language:

Programming language that can be directly understood and obeyed by a machine (computer) without conversion (translation). Machine code or machine language is a system of instructions and data executed directly by a computer’s CPU. The lowest-level programming language that only be understood by computers. Computer language that is directly executable by a computer without the need for translation by a compiler or an assembler. Machine language is the only language a computer understands. It is almost impossible for humans to use because they consist entirely of numbers

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