Difference Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : September 21st, 2022

Difference Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages: Language is the best mode of communication, and it is used to share ideas and opinions. Similarly, a programming language is a computer language used by the programmer or developers to communicate with its computers. Programming language is a set of written instructions used to perform specific tasks. A few programming languages are C, C++, Java, Python, etc. These programming languages are mainly used to develop desktop applications, websites, mobile applications, etc. The major difference between high-level and low-level languages is that hardware knowledge is required to write the low-level language.

Programming languages are classified into two types. i.e., low-level languages and high-level languages. Here, we will briefly explore low-level and high-level languages and then see the complete list explaining the difference between high-level and low-level languages. We have elaborated on the differences in various parameters below.

Table of Content

Difference Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages

The major difference between High-Level and Low-Level languages is that the high-level language runs at a lower speed and will require a translator program. In contrast, no such requirement is for the low-level language.

Key Differences Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages with Example

High-Level Languages

Low-Level Languages

High-Level Language is a human-friendly language that is easy to learn and understand.

Low-Level Languages are quite challenging for humans to learn and understand.

They are executed at a slower speed as they require a translator program.

This language can execute at high speed.

These languages allow much more abstraction.

These languages have negligible abstraction.

These languages have a very low memory efficiency and consume more memory

These languages have a very high memory efficiency and consume less energy.

These languages are unable to provide many facilities at the hardware level.

These languages are machine friendly and very close to the hardware so it helps to write a program at the hardware level.

No need for hardware knowledge for writing programs.

Hardware knowledge is necessary for writing programs.

In these languages, modification of programs is easy for humans.

In this language, modification of programs is quite difficult for humans.

A single statement in this language may execute several instructions.

The statements in these languages can be directly redirected to processor instructions.

Programming, these languages are very common and widely used nowadays

For programming, these languages are not very common nowadays.

Example: Java, JavaScript, Python, PHP, C#, Objective C, C++, Cobol, Pascal, Perl, FORTRAN, LISP, and Swift programming languages are examples of High-Level Languages.

Example: Machine language and Assembly language are Low-Level Languages.

High-level Language vs Low-level Language

High-level language and Low-level language are the types of programming languages. It is the set of instructions for the Central Processing Unit (CPU) to perform any specific task. High-level language and Low-level language are different from each other in the following ways:

Differences Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages PDF

High-Level Language

  • It can easily run on different platforms.
  • It consumes more memory.
  • It has low efficiency of memory.
  • It is easy to maintain.
  • It is simple and manageable.

Low-Level Language

  • It runs on various platforms.
  • Machines easily understand it.
  • Maintenance is complex.
  • It does not have a wide application at present.
  • Debugging is difficult.

What are High-Level Languages?

Before knowing about the difference between high-level and low-level languages, let us explore high-level language. A high-level language is easy to read, write, and maintain by the human or programmer. These High-level languages are less memory efficient, and these languages are simple to debug. The High-level programming language (HLL) is used for developing user-friendly software programs and websites. A high-level language is further divided into three parts first one is Procedural Oriented Programming (POP) language, the second one is Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) language, and the third one is Natural language or human language.

Examples of High-level programming languages are Java, JavaScript, Python, PHP, C#, Objective C, C++, Cobol, Pascal, Perl, FORTRAN, LISP, and Swift programming language.

What are Low-Level Languages?

Low-Level Languages are machine-friendly languages that are quite difficult to understand by human beings but very easy to interpret by machines. The Low-level language is a machine-dependent programming language. The processor runs the low-level programs directly without the compiler or interpreter, so the programs written in low-level language can be run very fast. This language is difficult to write, understand and debug due to this person moving toward high-level language.

A low-level language is further divided into two parts, the first one is Machine Language, and the second one is Assembly language (ASM). It is a series of bits of 0s and 1s, or it performs short instructions like ADD, MOV, etc.

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FAQs on Difference Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages

  • The major difference between the high-level language and low-level language is that in the high-level language programmers can easily understand or interpret humans and on the other hand, low-level language can only be easily understood by machines.

  • The High-Level Language has higher abstraction which is easy to interpret and understand for programer or humans and this language is machine-independent. These languages are portable from one device to another. Comparatively low memory efficient than lo level language and for programming, these languages are very common nowadays.

  • Low-Level Language is machine-friendly language and quite difficult to understand by human beings but very easy to interpret by machines. This language is a machine-dependent programming language and It is a series of bits of 0s and 1s or it performs short instructions like ADD, MOV, etc.

  • The difference between High-Level and Low-Level Languages concerning the human compatibility is that the high-level language can easily understand or interpret by humans but the Low-Level Language is machine-friendly language and difficult for human compatibility. 

  • The two types of low-level language are machine code and assembly language. The machine code is the set of instructions that only a CPU can understands directly and can act upon. While the Assembly language stands between machine code and high-level language for ease to use. There exist various differences between high-level language and low-level language.

  • High level language and low level language are types of programming languages.

    • Example of high-level language PHP, C#, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, etc.
    • Example of low level language is Machine language & Assembly language.

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