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Difference between Compiler and Interpreter
  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 25 Feb, 2021

1. Compiler: 
It is a translator which takes input i.e., High-Level Language, and produces an output of low-level language i.e. machine or assembly language. 

  • A compiler is more intelligent than an assembler it checks all kinds of limits, ranges, errors, etc.
  • But its program run time is more and occupies a larger part of memory. It has slow speed because a compiler goes through the entire program and then translates the entire program into machine codes.

Figure – Compiler-Process 

2. Interpreter: 
An interpreter is a program that translates a programming language into a comprehensible language. –  

  • It translates only one statement of the program at a time.
  • Interpreters, more often than not are smaller than compilers. 

Figure – Interpreter-Process 

Let’s see the difference between Compiler and Interpreter: 

S.No. Compiler Interpreter
1. Compiler scans the whole program in one go. Translates program one statement at a time.
2. As it scans the code in one go, the errors (if any) are shown at the end together. Considering it scans code one line at a time, errors are shown line by line.
3. Main advantage of compilers is it’s execution time. Due to interpreters being slow in executing the object code, it is preferred less.
4. It converts the source code into object code. It does not convert source code into object code instead it scans it line by line
5 It does not require source code for later execution. It requires source code for later execution.
Eg. C, C++, C# etc. Python, Ruby, Perl, SNOBOL, MATLAB, etc.

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