Computer Programming Languages
Computer programming language is a set of notations, used by programmers in communicating with the computer. A Programming language is a language used to write instructions for the computer. The computer language also has vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. The natural languages Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, French also have vocabulary and grammar.
There are four main developed computer programming languages:
1. Machine language.
2. Assembly language (low-level language)
3. High-level language.
4. Very high-level language.
A machine language is a programming language, in which instructions and data are in the form of binary codes, which are executed by a computer, without the need for a translator. The machine language is the native language of a computer, that tells the computer what to do, and where to do it. It is made up of combinations of 0’s and 1’s called binary digits (BITS)
Machine language is tedious and time-consuming because the program is represented by 0’s and 1’s. As a result, the Assembly language was developed.
Low-Level Language (Assembly Language)
A low-level language is a machine-oriented language, that uses a name suggesting meaning and symbols, in which each instruction corresponds to the machine instructor. The name suggesting meaning is used instead of binary codes, while symbolic addresses are used instead of actual machine addresses.
The Assembly language abbreviations such as jump, skip, sub, stop, etc, are called Symbolic Instruction Code or mnemonic codes. Since it is not the mother tongue of the computer, the need for a program that would translate the assembly language, to machine language, was developed. The program that was developed to do the job of translation is called the Assembler.
This posed a big problem. Therefore, there was a need to develop a language that would be understood by all computers. This need led to the development of high-level programming language.
Before a computer executes a low-level language instruction, it must translate the instruction into machine language. The translation is done with a system program called an ASSEMBLER.
High Level Language:
In high-level languages, instructions are written in statements more compatible with human languages, and the human thought process. Most of the high-level languages are general-purpose languages. Examples of high-level languages are Basic, Pascal, FORTRAN, etc.
High-level languages are sets of statements, that use words and syntax from human language. High-level language must first be translated into machine code using various types of utility programs such as compilers before they can be run by a computer. The translation into a machine language is automatically done with a system program called COMPILER.