What is a programming language?

When you want to provide instructions to a computer you use what is called a programming language.

There are hundreds of programming languages that are available today, each having its own rules (syntax) and meaning (semantics). Let's use another analogy to understand computer programming languages.

For example, in English you would write the word 'Welcome!' with one exclamation mark at the end. However, in Spanish '!Bienvenido!'.

Semenatically these two words mean the same thing, but the in Spanish it requires an exclamation mark at the beginning and at the end. So, we can say that this is one rule or syntax of the Spanish language.

Likewise, programming languages have unique syntax rules. In the beginning there were no programming languages and programs looked like this:

0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

A bunch of 1s and 0s, these are instructions to the computer to add the numbers from 1 to 10 together and print out the result.

In the early days, writing intrsuctions for the computer was very difficult and time consuming.

Now it would be extremely difficult to write programs using just 1s and 0s, to this end we need a higher level to write the instructions for the computer.

This is where the modern computer programming languages come into play, they make it easier for use to write programs and their syntax is almost like the English language.