Computer programming language can be classified into two major categories:

  • Low Level Languages
  • High Level Languages

Low Level Languages:

The languages which use only primitive operations of the computer are known as low language. In these languages, programs are written by means of the memory and registers available on the computer. Since the architecture of computer differs from one machine to another, so far each type of computer there is a separate low level programming language. In the other words, Programs written in one low level language of one, architectural can’t be ported on any other machine dependent languages. Examples are Machine Language and Assembly Language.

a) Machine Language:

In machine language program, the computation is based on binary numbers. All the instructions including operations, registers, data and memory locations are given in there binary equivalent.

The machine directly understands this language by virtue of its circuitry design so these programs are directly executable on the computer without any translations. This makes the program execution very fast. Machine languages are also known as first generation languages.

b) Assembly Language:

Assembly languages are also known as second generation languages. These languages substitutes alphabetic or numeric symbols for the binary codes of machine language. That is, we can use mnemonics for all opcodes, registers and for the memory locations which provide us with a facility to write reusable code in the form of macros. Has two parts, one is macro name and the other is macro body which contains the line of instructions. A macro can be called at any point of the program by its name to use the instruction. A macro can be called at any point of the program by its name to use the instructions given in the macro repetitively.

These languages require a translator known as “Assembler” for translating the program code written in assembly language to machine language. Because computer can interpret only the machine code instruction, once the translation is completed the program can be executed.

High Level Languages:

All high level language is procedure-oriented language and is intended to be machine independent. Programs are written in statements akin to English language, a great advantage over mnemonics of assembly languages require languages use mnemonics of assembly language. That is, the high level languages use natural language like structures. These languages require translators (compilers and interpreters) for execution. The programs written in a high level language can be ported on any computer, that’s why these languages are known as machine independent. The early high level languages come in third generation of languages, COBOL, BASIC, APL, etc.

These languages enable the programmer to write instruction using English words and familiar mathematical symbols which makes it easier than technical details of the computer. It makes the programs more readable too.

FORTRAN Programming Language:

FORTRAN is an imperative computer programming language and also considered general purpose and procedural. It was developed in the 1950s by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and was intended for use in scientific and engineering related applications. Since its design, Fortran has been steadily used for scientific and numerical computing, especially in such areas as computational sciences and climate modeling. In fact, it is the most commonly used numerical programming language in existence.

COBOL Programming Language:

COmmon Business-Oriented Language, more commonly known as COBOL Language, is one of the oldest programming languages in existence. COBOL languages can primarily be found in areas like business and finance for the government, as well as many companies. COBOL Language first appeared in late 1959, after a short-range committee, formed during a meeting at the Pentagon, was asked to recommend a new approach to a common business language.

BASIC Programming Language:

Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) is a family of easy-to-use programming languages. Introduced in 1963, the initial purpose of this high-level language was to make computers accessible to non-science students. BASIC and its variations enjoyed widespread popularity for microcomputers in the 1970s. It gained a similar level of popularity with personal computers in the 80s.

PASCAL Programming Language:

Developed in 1970, by Niklaus Wirth, Pascal is a computer programming language. Pascal is an imperative language that is considered a viable option for structured programming. The language’s original purpose was to help in teaching structured programming concepts to college students. In fact, teachers have employed it as an introductory programming language for many years. Though it was created decades ago, versions of the language are still in use today, in educational and software development sectors.

ADA Programming Language:

A high-level programming language developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s for the United States Defense Department. Ada was designed to be a general-purpose language for everything from business applications to rocket guidance systems. One of its principal features is that it supports real-time applications. In addition, Ada incorporates modular techniques that make it easier to build and maintain large systems. Since 1986, Ada has been the mandatory development language for most U.S. military applications. In addition, Ada is often the language of choice for large systems that require real-time processing, such as banking and air traffic control systems.

LISP Programming Language:

Lisp is a family of computer programming languages based on formal functional calculus. Lisp (for "List Processing Language") stores and manipulates programs in the same manner as any other data, making it well suited for "meta-programming" applications. One of the oldest "high level" programming languages (second only to Fortran), Lisp continues to be popular in the field of artificial intelligence down to the present day.

C Programming Language:

C is a general-purpose computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the UNIX operating system. Although C was designed for implementing system software, it is also widely used for developing portable application software. C is one of the most popular programming languages and there are very few computer architectures for which a C compiler does not exist. C has greatly influenced many other popular programming languages, most notably C++, which originally began as an extension to C.

C++ Programming Language:

C++ is a type of computer programming language. Created in 1983 by Bjarne Stroustrup, C++ was designed to serve as an enhanced version of the C programming language. C++ is object oriented and is considered a high level language. However, it features low level facilities. C++ is one of the most commonly used programming languages.