Programmers write instructions in various programming languages, some directly understandable by computers and others requiring intermediate translation steps. Hundreds of computer languages are in use today. These may be divided into three general types:
- Machine languages
- Assembly languages
- High-level languages
Any computer can directly understand only its machine language. Machine language is the “natural language” of a computer and as such is defined by its hardware design. Machine languages generally consist of strings of numbers (ultimately reduced to 1s and 0s) that instruct computers to perform their most elementary operations one at a time.
Assembly language. An assembly (or assembler) language, often abbreviated ASM, is any low-level programming language in which there is a very strong correspondence between the program’s statements and the architecture’s machine code instructions.
the high-level language is a computer programming language that isn’t limited by the computer, designed for a specific job and is easier to understand. It is more like a human language and less like machine language. However, for a computer to understand and run a program created with a high-level language, it must be compiled into machine language.
The first high-level languages were introduced in the 1950s. Today, high-level languages are in widespread use. These include BASIC, C, C++, Cobol, FORTRAN, Java, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Visual Basic.