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Why is python an interpreted language?

01.06.2021

Introduction

Python is a programming language that acts as the backbone of machine learning, artificial intelligence, web development, data science etc. For developing an application or software we need a programming language and Python is an amazing option. 


But as we all know that the computer does not understand common languages, instead, it only understands binary language i.e. a combination of 1s and 0s, also called computer language.


So what happens is, the programmer writes a code, and somehow it needs to be converted into binary for the computer to understand. We use an interpreter and compiler for that. They take human-readable code and convert it to computer-readable machine code.

The interpreter translates a line of that code into binary at the same time as the program is being executed and shows any errors found in that line instantly, whereas the compiler translates the whole program and shows all the errors at a time. 


Therefore, as an interpreted language, Python will analyze each statement in the program and show an error message present in that particular line at a time, and then perform the desired action after correcting it.


Something You might don't know

Most programming languages can have both compiled and interpreted implementations – the language itself is not necessarily compiled or interpreted. However, for simplicity’s sake, they’re typically referred to as such.

Python, for example, can be executed as either a compiled program or as an interpreted language in interactive mode. 


So basically, the python program is first compiled and then interpreted. The compilation part is hidden and we believe that it is only an interpreted language. The compilation part is done first when we execute our code and this will generate byte code and internally this byte code gets converted by the interpreter (python virtual machine). 

And this compiled part gets deleted by the python as soon as you execute your code so that programmers don’t get into complexity.


Advantages of interpreted languages

Interpreted languages are more flexible, and often offer features like dynamic typing and smaller program sizes. Also, because interpreters execute the source program code themselves, the code itself is platform independent.


Disadvantages of interpreted languages

The biggest disadvantage of interpreted systems is that the interpretation takes time. So interpreted systems often take longer to achieve a computation than a system that is interpreted directly by the computer system hardware.

But, with the development of just-in-time compilation, that gap is shrinking. Examples of common interpreted languages are PHP, Ruby, Python, and JavaScript.


Conclusion 

With its disadvantages and advantages, Python is a great choice for beginner programmers because of its simple library and flexible syntax. With Python, it is easy to get started and immediately work towards building something usable.