Difference Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

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.

Differences Between High-Level and Low-Level Languages (Download PDF)

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.

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.

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.

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:

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 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.

High-Level and Low-Level Languages Examples

Examples of high-level languages include Python, Java, Ruby, and C++. These languages are known for their ease of use and readability and are often used to create software applications.

Examples of low-level languages include assembly language and machine language. These languages are more difficult to read and write, but they offer more direct control over the underlying hardware and are often used for tasks that require low-level access to a computer system, such as device drivers or operating system kernels.

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

Benefits of High-Level and Low-Level Languages

High-level languages and low-level languages offer different benefits to programmers depending on their specific needs and objectives. Here are some potential benefits of each type of language:

Benefits High-Level Languages Low-Level Languages
Ease of use Yes No
Faster development Yes No
Increased productivity Yes No
Improved readability Yes No
Greater control No Yes
Improved performance No Yes
Closer to machine code No Yes
Access to hardware resources No Yes
Flexibility Yes No

Advantages of High-Level and Low-Level Languages

Advantages of High-Level Languages:

  • Easier to learn and use, making them more accessible to beginners and non-experts
  • Built-in libraries and functions that automate complex tasks, saving time and effort
  • Greater productivity and efficiency due to simplified syntax and structures
  • Improved readability and maintainability, making it easier to understand and modify code
  • Platform-independent, allowing code to be executed on different hardware and operating systems

Advantages of Low-Level Languages:

  • Greater control over hardware and system resources, allowing for more precise optimization
  • Closer to machine code, providing more direct access to hardware and system resources
  • Faster execution speed due to minimal abstraction and direct control over system resources
  • Suitable for programming embedded systems and low-level system components
  • Greater flexibility and customization, allowing for fine-tuning of performance and functionality

Check out:

Important GATE Topics
Difference Between Encoder and Decoder Difference Between Abstraction and Encapsulation in Java
Difference Between Algorithm and Pseudocode Difference Between Website and Web application
Difference Between Symmetric and Asymmetric Key Encryption Difference Between Constructor and Method in Java
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium