Difference Between Compiler and Interpreter – Compiler Vs Interpreter | BBA Notes

The purpose of both compilers and interpreters is the same. They convert one level of language to another level of language. Compilers convert high level instructions into machine language, while interpreters convert them into intermediate forms, and then execute the instructions.


In computer programming, a compiler is a program used to convert high level instructions or languages into computer-readable format. In order to find information in the form of 0 and 1, a compiler is used since computers can only understand binary numbers. Otherwise, it would be difficult for humans to find information.

A compiler was originally a simple program that converted symbols into bits. These programs were also extremely simple, and they contained a series of steps which were translated manually into the data. As a result, some parts of the process were programmed or automated. This resulted in the first compiler.

The complier programs have evolved in this way, and it has become easier for a human to work with them as more rules and a natural language environment are added to every new version. In particular languages or for specific tasks, there are specific compilers. Compilers can be multiple passes or multistage passes. A high level language can be converted into a language closer to computer language with the first pass. Afterward, it can be converted into a final stage for executing.


Two methods can be used to execute high level language programs. The first is to use a compiler, while the other is to use an interpreter. An interpreter converts high level instructions into intermediate formats. As a result of using an interpreter, high level instructions do not have to go through compilation, a time consuming step. Therefore, the high level program can be executed directly by an interpreter. In order to save time, some programmers use interpreters while making small sections.There are compilers and interpreters for virtually all high-level programming languages, but some languages, like LISP and BASIC, require an interpreter to execute programs.

Difference between compiler and interpreter

  1. Interpreters convert high level instructions into intermediate forms while compilers convert high level instructions into machine language.
  2. The compiler executes the entire program before execution, whereas the interpreter executes the first line after it has been translated.
  3. An interpreter stops translating after the first error while a compiler creates a list of errors after the compilation process.
  4. Unlike an interpreter, a compiler creates an independent executable file, whereas an interpreted program must have an interpreter each time it is run.

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