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Chapter 1. Jump-Starting JavaScript > An Interpreted Language

An Interpreted Language

Some languages are interpreted, and some are compiled. JavaScript is an interpreted language. Your browser, most likely Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, acts as a translator between JavaScript and the native language that your computer uses. The process involves your browser parsing (interpreting) the JavaScript code and then creating an equivalent machine language and having your computer execute the interpreted code. Compiled languages such as Java and C++ are already interpreted (compiled), so they go right into the computer, ready to talk with your computer.

The process is something like visiting France and communicating in French. If you don’t know French, the easiest way to communicate is with an interpreter who speaks both French and English. It takes a little longer because everything that you say has to be translated into French. Alternatively, you could go to classes to learn to speak French before your visit to France. Learning French will take more time and effort, but when you go to France, you will be understood without an interpreter and communication will go much more quickly.


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