What are some languages that can be natively run by a computer?

PDS OWNER CALIN (Calin Baenen) on January 17, 2020

What are some programming languages that can be run by a computer?
I know one would be Java (In it's compiled state).
But what are some other languages (compiled or non-compiled) that a computer can natively run without issues?

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Even Assembly is an intermediate, human-readable step. It has a close mapping to your system's machine code, but still needs to be run though an assembler before your computer can look at that pile of bits and understand it as instructions to execute.

C is another step above that - it generates assembly, which is then assembled into machine code. When you compile a C program, it does both of these steps - first compiling C->Assembly, then assembling Assembly->Machine Code. The benefit is that each specific processor has its own unique Assembly language, but C is capable of generating it for a wide array of platforms, so you don't need to rewrite your code to port to another platform. Similar languages that go right to machine code are things like C++, D, Go, Rust, Zig and Forth. Higher level languages like Java and Python run on an abstracted virtual machine, but tools like GraalVM can generate machine code from these languages too.

I don't think anyone programs directly in a language the computer understands - that's a job for a computer!


I'm going to assume you mean only one translation step (that is, the language compiles straight to machine code), in which case you have:

  • Assembly (obviously)
  • Java (theoretically any JVM language) (via ARM Jazelle extensions, which run JVM bytecode natively).
  • Lisp (via various Lisp Machines)
  • Forth (via the RTX2010, a radiation hardened microcontroller from Intersil, among other designs)
  • Erlang (via the ECOMP, never got to commercial implementation as far as I know)
  • Some (possibly all?) CLR (.NET) languages (via SCIL, which runs CIL bytecode natively, never got to commercial implementation as far as I know)
  • Brainf*ck (via the MENTAL-1, no translation required, never got to comercial implementation as far as I know)

Cool, thanks for the information, Austin!


There is literally only one - Machine Code. Every other language is a higher-level abstraction, created for humans.


No, I said "compiled or not-compiled" implying any language that has a compiled form such as Java's .jar file can be run with a simple double click, I may not have made it clear, but what I'm looking for is a language that can open and run it's respective code with a double click. So if it needs to interpret or compile, then so be it, but I guess I didn't make that clear, did I? :/


but I guess I didn't make that clear, did I? :/

No, but that's ok :). So are you asking what languages can be compiled down to machine code? Or what languages can be run on a machine with the help of a compiler/interpreter?

Are you effectively asking what languages are considered backend languages?

Kind of to what you are asking, yes to both.
Like you know how double clicking on a .py file will automatically open the Python {Version} Interpreter, or how a .jar file will use JVM to be fully compiled and run? That's the desired effect I'm looking for, when I'm looking for a language I want to learn or use, I want to be able to just double-click on the source or compiled file and get the result of the program, what languages do this other than Python .py and Java .jar? (Hopefully you understood what I am saying / asking, sorry if I made it confusing)

That's not the perview of the computer, that's handled by the OS itself, and the answer is 'all of them for which you can obtain an implementation for your OS'.


The only language a computer can naively execute is it's own machine code. At that point you're dealing with actual binary instructions which is executed in the CPU's physical circuitry. Every other language is above that in some way, and must be converted or "compiled" down to create a binary file in machine code that the computer can then execute directly.


Do web applications count? Most systems can view websites somehow :)


I think that counts somehow if you prerequisite a graphical interface like a desktop environment which brings a webbrowser.
Otherwise I think he's searching for something which is compiled directly to code that machines can read like, c, c++, Delphi or Fortran :)


No, because that uses a web-browser, and the computer doesn't directly execute that, it's executed by the browser.
Sorry, but nice try :)


There is those low-level languages like Assembly. Don't know if C is one of those.

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