What is Programming Language?


Programming language is the way to instruct the computer to perform some particular operation. It may also be defined as a mode of communication between programmer and the computer. Programming languages are used to develop softwares. Programming languages are basically categorized into two types: –

  • Low Level Language.
  • High Level Language

1. Low Level Language

A low level language is that programming language which can be directly understood by the computer. Low level language is further categorized into two types:

a. Machine Language:

Machine language is represented in the form of 0 and 1. It is also known as binary language. It is directly understood by the computer without any translations. It is difficult to understand and use.

b. Assembly Language:

Assembly language instructions are represented by predefined symbols known as mnemonic codes. Mnemonic codes are easier to understand as compared to machine language.

Assembly language program must be converted into machine language program by using assembling before executing it on a computer.

2. High Level Language

A low level language is that programming language which is easily understood by the programmer but can’t be directly understood by the computer.

A high level language program must be converted into machine language before running it on computer.

Examples of high level languages are C, C++, Java etc. High level languages are further categorized into two types

  • Procedural Programming Language
  • Object Oriented Programming Language

a. Procedural Programming Language

In procedural programming, the instructions are written in sequence one after another and they get executed in top down manner in the same sequence in which they are written.

The focus is always on doing work. Data is given less focus. Data is also not secure as it is available to all the functions in the program.

It is also very difficult to represent real life problems using procedural programming language. With procedural programming, a problem is broken up into parts and each part is then broken up into further parts. All these parts are known as procedures.

They are separate but work together when needed. A main program centrally controls them all. Some procedural languages are COBOL, FORTRAN, and C.

b. Object Oriented Programming Language(OOPS)

Object oriented programming concept was introduced to overcome the problems with the procedural programming language.

In object oriented programming language, the more focus is given to the data. In object oriented programming language, data and functions are combined into a single unit known as an object.

Because of the use of object the security of data is provided and it can be accessed only indirectly through functions. It is also easy to represent real life problems in object oriented programming language.

With object oriented programming, programmers can also create relationships between data structures and create new data types based on existing ones by having one data type inheriting characteristics from another one.

In OOPS, data types defined by the programmer are called classes. For example, a programmer can create a data type that represents a car – a car class.

This class can contain the properties of a car like color, model, year, etc.) and functions that specify what the car does (drive, reverse, stop, etc.) Some object-oriented languages are C++, Java and VB.NET.

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