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a formal symbolic system used for human communication with a digital computer. The programming language is designed to describe data (information) and algorithms (programs) for data processing by a computer. Examples of programming languages are ALGOL, COBOL, and FORTRAN; machine languages are also programming languages.
Programming languages occupy an intermediate position between natural languages and formal, or formalized, languages. They are similar to the former in grammatical structure (use of words from natural languages, presence of a phrase structure, and so on); they resemble formal languages in the use of mathematical symbols and concepts, but most importantly because they have strict, precisely described rules for constructing texts in the programming language and expressing the meaning of such texts. The principal use of programming languages is as a means of programming, that is, for writing programs and running them on digital computers.