Both Compilers and Interpreters are programs that convert high-level language (source codes) into machine language (machine codes) to make it understandable by the computers. However, there are differences between compilers and interpreters.

Compiler vs Interpreter

Before discussing the difference between compiler and interpreter, let’s have a quick overview of both:

What is Compiler?

The compiler is a computer program that reads a program written in a high-level language and converts it to machine code or a lower-level language. In simple terms, a compiler is a program that translates human-readable source code into the language (low-level or machine code) understandable by the computer’s processor (ie, binary 1 and 0 bits). It also reports errors found in the program. The computer further processes the machine codes to perform the specified tasks.

What is Interpreter?

An interpreter is a computer program that performs the same functions as the compiler, but instead of converting an entire program at once, the interpreter converts each high-level program statement into machine code one by one. This includes the source codes of a high-level language, pre-compiled codes as well as scripts.

Compiler vs Interpreter: Key Differences

Let’s discuss some major differences between Compilers and Interpreters:

* The compiler takes a program written in a high-level programming language and translates it into machine code at once, while an interpreter translates the program statement by statement.

* A compiler is relatively faster as it takes the entire program at one go. Besides, an interpreter compiles one line of code at a time. Interpreters take the next line of code only when the previous one has compiled.

Read all differences here- Difference Between Compiler and Interpreter


Compiler and Interpreter both are intended to convert the source codes into machine codes, but there are differences in their working and operating procedure. While compilers take source code at once, interpreters take parts of the source code (that is, statement by statement) during the conversion.

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