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Language Translators And High Level Programming Languages

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Language Translator:



Fig. Translator

Language translator is a program which is used to translate instructions that are written in the source code to object code i.e. from high-level language or assembly language into machine language.

There are 3 types of language translators. They are:

  1. Assembler:

    Assembler is the language translator designed to translate assembly language program (source codes) into machine language program (object codes). The original assembly language program codes are called source codes and after translation, the final machine language program codes are called object codes.


Fig. Assembler

  1. Compiler:

    A compiler is a language translator that translates high-level languages program to machine language program. While translating, it checks the syntax (grammar of the source code) and translates it into object code at a single attempt. If any error is found, the compiler produces syntax errors and causes of the errors. The source code file must be syntax error-free for complete compilation process.


Fig. Compiler

  1. Interpreter:

    The interpreter is the language translator designed to translate high-level language program into machine language program, one instruction at a time. Unlike the compiler, it translates and executes one statement at a time before moving to another. If any error is encountered, the translation is halted and an error message is displayed.

    (Bhusal, Khanal, & Manandhar, 2013)

    Figure: Interpreter

Differences between Compiler and Interpreter:



It translates a complete high-level language program into machine language at once.

It translates high-level language program into machine language line by line.

It finds the syntax errors after compiling the whole program.

It finds the syntax errors after translating each line of the program.

The compiling process is faster than the interpreter.

The interpreting process is slower than a compiler.

It creates the object code after compiling the whole program.

It creates the object code after translating each line of the program.

The debugging process is complicated in a compiler.

Debugging process is easy in the interpreter.

Compiler demands more resources (memory, CPU time etc) than interpreter.

Interpreter requires low resources.

Example: C, C++, Visual Basic, java, etc.


List of High-level Programming Languages:

  1. FORTRAN: FORTRAN stands for FORmula TRANslator. Developed by John Backus for IBM, in 1956, it is a very powerful language for scientific and engineering computations. FORTRAN IV, FORTRAN 77 (ANSI standard), FORTRAN 90, FORTRAN 95, etc. are some of its versions available.

    Fig. Fortran Logo


  1. BASIC: BASIC was developed in 1960 by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, at Dartmouth College. Standing for Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, it was the 1st interpreted language and is a good language for beginners to learn initial programming skills.


  1. COBOL: COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was developed specially for business data processing. Standardized by ANSI in 1968, it was developed for the US Department of defence by Grace Murray Hopper, in 1960.


Fig. COBOL Programming

  1. C: C is a powerful, general-purpose high-level language which also has features of low-level programming. Earlier called as BPCL or simply B, it was developed by Dennis Ritchie, in 1970s at Bell Laboratory.

Fig. C Logo


  1. C++:Developed in the early 1980s by Bjarne Stroustrup, it is an updated version of C language. C++ is the super set of C language that supports object-oriented features and is extremely efficient.

    C++ logo

    Fig. C++ logo

  1. PASCAL: PASCAL is a multipurpose programming language which is suitable for both scientific and business application. Developed in the early 1970s in Switzerland, by Niklaus Wirth at the Federal Institute of Technology, it was named after the 17th-century French Mathematician Blasé Pascal, on his honoring.

Fig. Pascal logo


  1. LISP: LISP which means LIST Processing is a suitable language for solving non-numeric data processing and is used in the field of the expert system, artificial intelligence and pattern recognition. It was developed by John McCarthy in the early 1960s, at IBM’s Laboratory.

Fig. LISP Programming

  1. JAVA: Developed by Sun Microsystems Inc. in 1991, JAVA is a simple and powerful platform independent language. In the web and mobile fields, JAVA has very wide applications.

    JAVA Logo
    JAVA Logo

  1. NET: As an alternative for JAVA, NET is the Microsoft’s latest common platform which combines all powerful features of different languages into one environment, also called IDE (Integrated Development Environment). It is most commonly used for solving web based applications and distributed mobile applications. J#, C#, Visual Basic, Visual C++, etc. are some of its examples.


Fig. Net Logo

  1. XML: XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a web content development language which helps to manage sources’ documents in several different formats such as web page, PDF files, printable documents, etc. XML allows making their own tags to the users.


    Fig. XML

  2. PROLOG: Used for solving natural logic and in the knowledge-based system fields, PROLOG (PROgramming LOGic) was developed in 1972 by Alain Coulmeraurer and Philippe Roussel, in France.

    fig. PROLOG

  3. PHP: PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-processor. It is a very popular server site which scripts languages on UNIX / Linux system. It is also very popular for accessing databases like My SQL and Oracle which can be supported by Windows server too, by using 3rd party software. It is an open source software.

    PHP Logo
    fig. PHP Logo

  4. SQL: SQL was developed by IBM in the early 1970s. Standing for Structured Query Language, it is a common standard database language that is now accepted by almost all database packages like MS Access, Oracle, DB2, MS SQL Server, etc.

    Fig. SQL Logo

  5. ASP: Mostly used with MS Access or MS SQL, ASP (Active Server Page) is a server site which is used for scripting language for accessing a database from a web application. ASP can run only inside Microsoft Windows Server. is its latest version.

    Fig. ASP.NET

  6. Python: Python is a general purpose high-level programming language which supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented features. It was developed in 1991 by Python Software Foundation and its main designer was Guido Van Rossum. It’s a free and open source software.

    Fig. Python Logo

PERL:PERL is one of the 1st scripting languages on UNIX system for web development. PERL (Practical Extraction and Reporting Language) is an open source scripting language and is found on UNIX/Linux based server. PERL is also supported by Windows Server.

(Koirala & Shrestha, 2015)

Fig. Perl Programming


Bhusal, R., Khanal, R., & Manandhar, S. (2013). Computer Essentials I. Putalisadak, Kathmandu: Asmita's Publication.

Koirala, H., & Shrestha, R. K. (2015). Computer Science I. Anamnagar, Kathmandu: Buddha Publication.

Language translators:

  • Its types.
  • Assembler, Interpreter, and Compiler.
  • List of High-level languages.
  • Differences between Interpreter and Compiler.
  • Fortran
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • C
  • C++

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