Difference between Compiler and interpreter





Compiler scans the entire program first and then translates into machine code. Interpreter scans and translates the program line by line to equivalent machine code.

Error Report

Compiler gives you list of all errors after compilation of whole program. Interpreter stops the translation at the error generation and will continue when error get solved.

Machine code

Compiler converts the entire program to the machine code when all the errors are removed, execution takes place. Each time the program is executed; every line is check for error and then converted into equivalent machine code.


Compiler is slow for debugging. Interpreter is good for fast debugging.

Execution Time

Compiler takes less execution time. Interpreter takes more execution time.


Compiler is faster. Interpreter is slower in compare to compiler.

After Modification

If you make any modification in program you have to recompile entire program i.e. scan the whole program every time after modification. If you make any modification and if that line has not been scanned then no need to recompile entire program.


No need to compile program every time (if not modified) at execution time. Every time program is scanned and translated at execution time.
Memory Requirement Compiler needs more memory than interpreter. Interpreter needs less memory than compiler.


C, COBOL,C#, C++,etc.  VB , PostScript, LISP