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Machine and Assembly Language: Benefits and Detriments

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Machine language

Machine language is the object code or machine code which is a collection of binary digits or number of bits that are read and interpreted by a computer. Machine language is regarded as the only language that is understood by the computer system (atariarchives, 2019). Machine language might vary with the varied operating system in the computer. The particular operating system will determine the method in which the program or action is written or compiled by a compiler into a machine language. Machine language is the most elementary and lowest level of programming language which can be written in the hex. The manufacturer designs a computer that just obeys only a single language represented inside the computer by a string binary digits such as 0 and 1. The symbol 1 represents the presence of an electric pulse and the symbol 0 represents the absence of an electric pulse. Since a computer has the ability to recognize the electric signals, therefore, a computer understands the machine language (atariarchives, 2019).

Computer Programs are written in various programming languages such as C, C++, Visual Basic, Java etc. Programming languages are not directly understood by the computer for creating a computer program; therefore, each program code is recommended to be compiled by the compiler. When the code of a program is compiled, the computer is able to understand it because the code of a program is converted into a machine language (Hope, 2017).


Following is one of the examples of Machine language:

Text “Hello World”, when converted into binary, is obtained in the following format:

Low-Level Languages

Machine codes are considered as the low-level computer languages and a computer cannot understand the instructions that are given in the high-level languages (Sheikh, 2014). A computer can understand as well as execute the instruction that is fed in the binary format which is also known as machine language. Following are the two types of low-level languages:

  • Assembly language: Assembly language is a code which is converted by an assembler (Hope, 2017).
  • Machine language: Machine language is a language which contains binary or hexadecimal instructions to which the computer directly responds.

Benefits and disadvantages of machine language

Benefits of machine language:

·         Machine language makes efficient and fast use of a computer.

·         Machine language does not involve the use of a translator for the translation of code.

Disadvantages of machine language

·         All the operation codes are required to be remembered.

·         Along with the operation code, the addresses at which the operation codes are store required to be remembered.

·         It is difficult to amend or identify errors from the program which is written in this language.

 Assembly language

Apart from machine language, an assembly language is also a low-level language which was developed for overcoming some of the inconveniences of machine language. This is a very crucial language in which the operation codes, as well as the operands, are provided in the form of alphanumeric symbols instead of bits (0’s and 1’s). These alphanumeric symbols are called mnemonic codes that can be combined in the maximum five letter combinations such as SUB for subtraction, ADD for addition, LABEL, START etc. Due to this feature, the assembly language is called Symbolic Programming Language. This language cannot be learned easily and mostly assembly language is utilized for compiler orientations (owlcation, 2015). In this type of language, the instructions are converted into the machine codes by a language translator. Then, the results obtained are executed by a computer.

Benefits and detriments of assembly language

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of the assembly language:

Benefits of assembly language:

·         Assembly language can be understood as well as used as compared easily to the other low-level language known as machine language.

·         Errors in the assembly language can be located and corrected in an efficient manner.

·         Assembly language can be modified easily.

Disadvantages of assembly language

·         Assembly language is also machine specific or dependent.

·         Assembly language is also machine specific; the programmer is required to understand the configurations of the hardware (Sheikh, 2014).


  • atariarchives. (2019). Machine Language For Beginners - Introduction. Retrieved from
  • Hope, C. (2017). What is Assembly Languages?. Retrieved from
  • Hope, C. (2017). What is Machine Language?. Retrieved from
  • owlcation. (2015). Types of Computer Languages with Their Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved from


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