A '''Programming Language''' is a small set of words and syntactic rules that allow people to write computer programs. When the [[Computer Program]] is executed by a [[computer]] it will follow the instructions and perform the requested work. Many different programming languages have been defined. Some are general-purpose and some are specific to a particular problem domain. However, programming languages evolve over time and usually become more general-purpose. For instance, the [[BASIC Programming Language]] and the [[Pascal Programming Language]] were originally intended as teaching languages, for students of programming. But both are now popular as general-purpose languages. The features of most modern programming languages are similar, but the words and syntax differ. For instance, the PRINT statement is used to output data in BASIC, whereas WRITELN is used for the same purpose in Pascal. Even when the words and syntax are similar between two languages, often the meaning (semantics) is different.
Unlike human languages, computer languages are much smaller (having grammars of around two dozen words) and define meanings more precisely.