Computer programming languages and its types

Learn, Computer programming languages, and its type: Low-Level Computer programming languages (Binary & Assembly) and High-Level programming languages. By IncludeHelp Last updated : December 15, 2023

This is an introductory article for students who are willing to learn computer programming languages like C/C++, Python, JavaScript, or any other programming language. This will provide basic details about programming languages.

Let's start with the language first.

What is a language?

Language is the medium of communication to share ideas, opinions with each other. For example, if we want to communicate with someone, we need a language that can be any of the languages that both the communicators know it can be English, Hindi, Spanish, or another language. But you need at least one language to communicate with someone (human/person).

What is a programming language?

To communicate with a person, you need a language. In the same way, if you need to communicate with the computer, you need a programming language. Without a programming language, you cannot communicate with the computer.

Thus, the programming language is the medium of communication between human and computer systems. It is the set of instructions written in a specific style (coding) to instruct the computer to perform a specific task.

Types of computer programming languages

There are three types of computer programming languages, they are,

  1. Low-level programming languages
  2. High-level programming languages
  3. Middle-level programming languages

1) Low-level programming languages

These are machine-dependent programming languages such as Binary (Machine code) and Assembly language.

Since computers can only understand Binary language which is instructions in the form of 0's and 1's (Signals - that can be either High or Low). So these programming languages are the best way to give signals (Binary Instructions) to the computer directly but are not that human friendly.

Machine Code (Binary Language) does not need an interpreter or compiler because the computer understands these signals directly.

The assembly language needs to be converted to equivalent Binary code so that the computer can understand the instructions written in Assembly. Assembler is used to convert an assembly code to its equivalent Binary code.

The codes written in such kind of languages are difficult to write, read, edit, and understand. Also, the programs are not portable to any other computer system.

Low-Level programming language programs are faster than High-Level programming language programs as they have fewer keywords, symbols and there is no need to convert it into Machine Code.

2) High-level programming languages

These are the machine-independent programming languages, which are easy to write, read, edit, and understand.

Languages like Java, .Net, Python, JavaScript, C++, C, C#, and others (which are very popular now to develop user-end applications). These languages come under the category of high-level programming language.

High-level programming languages have special keywords, functions, and class libraries. Using these we can easily build a computer program.

The computer does not understand the program written in such languages directly, As the computer understands only Machine code. So, Programming language translators are required to convert a high-level program to its equivalent Machine code.

Programming translators are generally called Compilers and Interpreters. Compilers are the system software that converts a program written in particular programming languages to its equivalent Machine code.

Features of High-level programming languages

  • Portable (system-independent): The programs written in High-Level programming languages are independent of the system which means a program written on one system can run on another system.
  • Easy to understand: As these programming languages contain keywords, functions, class libraries (which are similar to English words), we can easily understand the meaning of a particular term in that programming language.
  • Easy to code, read, and edit: The programs written in a high-level programming language are easy to code, read, and edit. Even we can edit programs written by other programmers easily by easily if we have a little knowledge of the programming language.
  • Even though programs written in high-level language compile/run slower than programs in low-level language, these programming languages are popular to develop User End Applications.

3) Middle-level programming languages

There is no such category of programming languages. But the programming languages that have features of both low level and high-level programming languages come under this category.

Hence, we can say that the programming languages which have features of Low Level as well as High-Level programming languages known as "Middle Level" programming language.

C programming languages is the best example of Middle-Level Programming languages as it has features of low level and high-level programming languages both.

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