What is the difference between interpreter and compiler?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between an interpreter and a compiler is? Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they actually represent two different ways of translating code. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between interpreters and compilers, and find out which one is best for your needs.

When it comes to code, an interpreter is a program that translates and executes code on the fly. That means that, as you’re running your code, the interpreter is translating it into machine language and then executing the instructions. This can be done line by line, or all at once.

Compilers, on the other hand, take your entire program and translate it into machine language before you even run it. That way, when you go to run your code, there’s no need for an interpreter because everything has already been translated.

So, which one should you use? It really depends on your needs. If you’re working on a small project with simple code, an interpreter might be all you need. But if you’re working on a large project with complex code, a compiler will likely be a better choice.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which approach is best for your project. But now that you know the difference between interpreters and compilers, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.


  • Interpreters take code as input and produce an executable program. Compilers take a program in one language and produce code for another language. 

  • Interpretation is much slower than a compilation, but it can be used to process untested or buggy code because no new executable is created. Compilation always produces an executable program that can be run on the target machine.  

  • The advantage of interpretation is that you don’t have to compile your code every time you make a change. The disadvantage is that interpreted programs are usually much slower than compiled ones.

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