A translator or programming language processor is a computer program that performs the translation of a program written in a given programming language into a functionally equivalent program in another computer language (the target language), without losing the functional or logical structure of the original code (the "essence" of each program). These include translations between high-level and human-readable computer languages such as C++, Java and COBOL, intermediate-level languages such as Java bytecode, low-level languages such as the assembly language and machine code, and between similar levels of language on different computing platforms, as well as from any of these to any other of these. The term is also used for translators between software implementations and hardware/ASIC microchip implementations of the same program, and from software descriptions of a microchip to the logic gates needed to build it.
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