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  • Lokajit Tikayatray

5 Most Difficult Programming Languages in the World

Updated: Mar 2


When we all are talking about c, c++, Java, Python, etc., there are some languages that are not only difficult but are almost incomprehensible for most software developers.

These languages are called esoteric programming languages (or esolang). Esoteric languages are the most difficult programming languages in the world.

An esolang is not designed for commonplace software development purposes. They are intended as a proof of concept or as a joke.

Here is a list of the five hardest esoteric languages. I tried executing the ‘Hello World!’ program in each of these languages, and it was fun.


Most Difficult Programming Languages


1. Malbolge


Malbolge was invented in 1998 by Ben Olmstead. This esolang is considered to be the most complicated programming language. It is also one of the most difficult programming languages to learn.


It is said that the author of the Malbolge programming language never wrote any program using the language. The hello world code in Malbolge appeared almost two years after Olmstead invented the language.


Here is the code snippet for printing ‘Hello World!’ in Malbolge.

(=<`#9]~6ZY32Vx/4Rs+0No-&Jk)"Fh}|Bcy?`=*z]Kw%oG4UUS0/@-ejc(:'8dc

Here is the output:

Malbolge code snippet


2. INTERCAL


Jim Lyon and Don Woods developed INTERCAL in 1972 as a parody of the various programming languages.


The initial name given to it was— ‘Compiler Language With No Pronounceable Acronym.’.

INTERCAL has many features designed to make it frustrating for the programmer.

Ex: It uses modifiers such as “PLEASE”. The compiler can reject a code if “PLEASE” is not used frequently in the code. It considers the program as ‘insufficiently polite’. If the modifier ‘PLEASE’ is used too many times then the compiler rejects the code stating that it is ‘excessively polite’.

Here is the code snippet for printing ‘Hello, World!’ in INTERCAL.

DO ,1 <- #13
PLEASE DO ,1 SUB #1 <- #238
DO ,1 SUB #2 <- #108
DO ,1 SUB #3 <- #112
DO ,1 SUB #4 <- #0
DO ,1 SUB #5 <- #64
DO ,1 SUB #6 <- #194
DO ,1 SUB #7 <- #48
PLEASE DO ,1 SUB #8 <- #22
DO ,1 SUB #9 <- #248
DO ,1 SUB #10 <- #168
DO ,1 SUB #11 <- #24
DO ,1 SUB #12 <- #16
DO ,1 SUB #13 <- #162
PLEASE READOUT ,1
PLEASE GIVE UP

Here is the output:

Intercal Code Snippet


3. Brainfuck


Brainfuck was developed by Urban Muller in 1993. The language was invented as an amusement for programmers. It can be termed as one of the most difficult programming languages to learn.


The name itself suggests that the language is supposed to be extremely difficult for any programmer to comprehend.


The whole language consists of only eight distinct characters for the implementation of any code. The original compiler developed by Muller used only 296 bytes.


Here is the code snippet for printing ‘Hello World!’ in Brainfuck.

++++++++++[>+++++++>++++++++++>+++<<<-]>++.>+.+++++++
 ..+++.>++.<<+++++++++++++++.>.+++.------.--------.>+.

Here is the output:

Brainfuck Code Snippet



4. COW


COW was developed in 2003 by Sean Heber. Once you see the hello world code, you will realize why the language was named ‘COW’.


COW is similar to Brainfuck in the difficulty level. It has four more commands in comparison to Brainfuck, i.e., 12 commands in the entire language.


Here is the code snippet for printing ‘Hello, World!’ in COW.

MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MOO moO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO moO MoO MoO MoO MoO moO MoO MoO MoO MoO moO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO
 MoO MoO moO MoO MoO MoO MoO mOo mOo mOo mOo mOo MOo moo moO moO moO moO Moo moO MOO mOo MoO moO MOo moo mOo MOo MOo MOo Moo MoO MoO 
 MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO Moo Moo MoO MoO MoO Moo MMM mOo mOo mOo MoO MoO MoO MoO Moo moO Moo MOO moO moO MOo mOo mOo MOo moo moO moO MoO 
 MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO MoO Moo MMM MMM Moo MoO MoO MoO Moo MMM MOo MOo MOo Moo MOo MOo MOo MOo MOo MOo MOo MOo Moo mOo MoO Moo

Here is the output:

COW Code snippet



5. Whitespace


Whitespace was developed at the University of Durham by Chris Morris and Edwin Brady. The language was released on 'April Fool' day of 2003. This is one of the most difficult programming languages to learn.


The entire language depends on space, tab, and linefeed for writing any program. The Whitespace interpreter ignores Non-Whitespace characters and considers them as code comments.


Here is the code snippet for printing ‘Hello, World!’ in Whitespace.


In the below code, each Space, Tab, or Linefeed character is preceded by a comment ‘S''''Fool'''''''''''''''', 'T', or 'L', respectively.

S S S T	S S T	S S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S S T	S T	L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S T	T	S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S T	T	S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S T	T	T	T	L
T	L
S S S S S T	S T	T	S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	S S S S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	S T	S T	T	T	L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S T	T	T	T	L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	T	S S T	S L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S T	T	S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	T	S S T	S S L
T	L
S S S S S T	S S S S T	L
T	L
S S L
L
L

Here is the output:

WHITESPACE code snippet


Go Wild With the Most Difficult Programming Languages


There are many more similar esoteric languages that are comparable to these most difficult programming languages. You can visit the references section of this article and explore them.


Use the following site, which provides compilers and interpreters for almost all languages. Please copy the code from the reference pages and have fun playing around with them.


 

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FAQ

What are the hardest coding languages to learn?


The hardest coding languages to learn vary depending on individual preferences and experience. However, some commonly mentioned challenging languages include Assembly, C++, and Haskell (apart from the esoteric programming languages). These languages often require a deeper understanding of programming concepts and have complex syntax and rules. It's important to note that the difficulty of learning a language can also depend on the resources available and the learner's dedication and perseverance.


What are the hardest coding languages?


The hardest coding languages vary depending on the individual's experience and background. However, some commonly challenging languages for programmers to learn and use include low-level languages like C and assembly language, as well as functional languages like Haskell and Prolog. Ultimately, the difficulty of a programming language is subjective and can vary based on the developer's familiarity and expertise.


What are some of the easiest programming languages?


Some of the easiest programming languages for beginners to learn include Python, JavaScript, and Ruby. These languages are widely used in software development and have a large community of developers who can provide support and resources for learning. Learning a programming language is essential for aspiring programmers and developers. Hence, it is alright if you want to get a start on your software development learning journey with these easiest programming languages.


Which is the toughest programming language to learn?


The toughest programming language to learn varies depending on the individual's background, learning style, and prior programming experience. However, some commonly mentioned challenging languages include C++, Haskell, and Assembly. It is important for programmers to choose a language that aligns with their goals, interests, and available resources for learning and development.

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3 kommenttia


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