Translator (computing)

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This article is about translation of programming languages. For translation of natural languages, see machine translation.

A translator is a computer program that translates a program written in a given programming language into a functionally equivalent program in a different computer language, without losing the functional or logical structure of the original code (the "essence" of each program). These include translations between high-level and human-readable computer languages such as C++, Java and COBOL, intermediate-level languages such as Java bytecode, low-level languages such as assembler and machine code, and between similar levels of language on different computing platforms, as well as from any of these to any other of these. Arguably they also include translators between software implementations and hardware/ASIC microchip implementations of the same program, and from software descriptions of a microchip to the logic gates needed to build it.

Examples of widely used types of computer languages translators include interpreters, compilers and decompilers, and assemblers and disassemblers.

Types[edit]