Is Javascript based on C?

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JavaScript implementation can be done in any other language but is not written in another programming language. Actually, no programming language is written in another language. Lots of different JavaScript implementations can be based on other programming languages. 

Specifically, most major JavaScript interpreters, either part of web browsers or standalone, are written in C or C++. The reason here is purely for performance. Still, the implementations can be written in Java, even JavaScript itself. 

So, a JavaScript compliant interpreter can be written in a different language – for instance, Rhino, a Mozilla engine, is written in Java. However, the unique thing with JavaScript is the lack of a singular canonical interpreter like in PHP.

JavaScript is a standard/dialect based on ECMAScript, which specifies how code and syntax should run. The other languages – C/C++ create the ability to run JavaScript, i.e., a run time environment. The runtime environment in C/C++ has codes that identify data called JavaScript and runs that data as if it is code – that is why programming languages such as JavaScript are called Interpreted languages.

The JavaScript syntax gets its inspiration from Java and C++ – so, if you have worked with the two, you have an easy time dealing with JavaScript. Nevertheless, a closer look at the inner parts of JavaScript shows that it is an interpreted dynamically typed language just like Ruby and Python. 

The majority of JavaScript implementations show behavior caused by pointers and byref parameter passing – this points typically towards the use of C or C++. You can see this when separating a multidimensional array in a loop using an intermediate array. If you are not familiar with byref passing and pointers of parameters, it will seem to behave strangely. Each time, you’ll need to perform a 

var hlp = new Array(; else, it will overwrite the previous values that you’ve already stored elsewhere.

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Is Javascript based on C?
Is Javascript based on C?

Is JavaScript similar to C?

JavaScript and C share a somewhat similar syntax – this includes the clunky for statements and curly braces. Such features make JavaScript appear as an ordinary procedural language. However, the truth is; JavaScript is more of a functional language with more similarities to Scheme or Lisp than with C.

JavaScript has arrays rather than lists and objects rather than property lists. Besides, it has closures, and functions are first class. Furthermore, developers get lambdas without the need to balance all parens.

So how does JavaScript compare to C?



It is a compiled language

It is interpreted; however, at times, it is compiled at runtime with a just-in-time (JIT) compiler

is statically typed

JavaScript is dynamically typed

Programmers must allocate as well as reclaim the blocks of memory

JavaScript automatically handles everything

The design of C allows it to work directly with the computer’s memory via the power of pointers.

JavaScript doesn’t show this power explicitly – it hides it.

C is highly used in applications requiring high performance, e.g., operating systems. Also, it’s used for embedded computers.

JavaScript is embedded in web pages only; however, it is also extensively used in server applications developed via Node.js.

There is explicit control of threads in C

Users can split tasks into asynchronous functions called when data is ready; this allows them to juggle multiple jobs.

The syntax

The JavaScript syntax is like C; however, the two can differ to create a more dynamic code. The JavaScript syntax borrows some features from Perl and Awk languages. And since other programming languages inspire JavaScript, here are some notable differences:

  • The identifiers in JavaScript are case sensitive, and keywords must be lowercase.
  • Functions may be objects, and a function can hold other functions (are utilized as methods).
  • Semi-colon is optional.
  • Variables have dynamic types, and arrays are dynamic, as is the case in AWK.

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What language is JavaScript based on?

JavaScript is a lightweight, object-oriented interpreted programming language featuring first-class functions. This scripting language is for Web pages, but also it is widely used in many non-browser environments.

Contrary to popular opinion, JavaScript is not “Interpreted Java.” But it is a dynamic scripting language that supports prototype-based object construction. Its syntax is intentionally similar to C++ and Java, which reduces the number of new concepts needed to learn the language.

Constructs such as if statement, while and for loops, and switch function the same in these languages. The primary JavaScript implementations are written in C or C++ to offer better performances. However, others, such as the Rhino, are written in Java while other implementations are written in JavaScript. So JavaScript is based on multiple languages but not a single programming language.

  • JavaScript and C++/C: The popular engines that drive JavaScript are written n C++ – for instance, the V8 engine within Google Chrome and Node, SpiderMonkey for Mozilla products, and Chakra for Microsoft are compiled from a C++ codebase. It’s worth noting that the JavaScript syntax is a derivative of C, but its semantics and design are of Scheme and Self programming languages.  Other implementations include Carakan, JavaScriptCore, and e Chakra.
  • JavaScript and Java: There are notable similarities between Java and JavaScript. This occurs in the form of syntactic, naming, and standard library similarities. But in reality, Java and JavaScript are unrelated with very different semantics

JavaScript is loosely interpreted, and that comes with implications including:

  • The 64-bit floating-point numbers represent integers and floats
  • Offers the ability to change the variable type freely

Ideally, developers are at will to do many things while programming.

Remember, JavaScript is a classless language; developers can simulate classes. While classes are absent, JavaScript does have objects that define it as being object-oriented.

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JavaScript is written in which language?

JavaScript is not written in any particular language, but it has a syntax similar to that of the C language. Developers describe JavaScript as a standard called ECMAScript, which ensures interoperability of web pages across the various web browsers. While ECMAScript is used chiefly for client-side scripting on the Web, it also has found significant use in creating applications and services using Node.js.

While JavaScript is not written in any language, it can be implemented in any programming language just like any other programming language. For instance, V8, a JavaScript engine, is written in C++. Notice that JavaScript is named after Java, has most of its concepts borrowed from Java.  But they are two distinct languages – the most noticeable difference is that Java is a compiled language while JavaScript is an interpreted programming language.

JavaScript is designed to run on many browsers out-of-the-box. Besides, JavaScript applications run on all devices, but mobile or desktop app runs on a target device only – Windows, Linux, iPhone, Mac OSX, or Android. This is not the case with Java, which requires additional plugins to run on web browsers. Also, both languages require a different runtime environment and have various libraries.

With JavaScript, you, therefore, write cross-platform applications quickly. Platforms including Node.js lets you run JavaScript server-side. That means developers can create entire web apps with both client-side and server-side logic developed in JavaScript.

When using Node.js, it is possible to call C or C++ programs from it. Typically, Node.JS has libraries that can call C. there are several approaches to make JavaScript work with C, and one approach is writing a web service using Node.JS and then running it on your server.

Also, you can run the C code in a process on your computer and invoke it via local HTTP requests.

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What language is JavaScript similar to?

Though JavaScript is a unique language, it gets its inspiration from other languages, including Scheme, NewtonScript, TypeScript, and CoffeeScript. However, no single programming language is the same as JavaScript in all aspects.

As earlier defined, JavaScript is an interpreted, lightweight, object-oriented language with a wide application in scripting web pages. Typically, when it comes to front-end development, JavaScript is a go-to programming language though some alternatives exist. In a broader view, JavaScript can create all types of interactive elements of websites. Mainly, you can execute the following functions:

  • creating various online interactive platforms such as questionnaires and registration forms.
  • Accessing HTML-based components as well as working with them without the need of refreshing the page.
  • Tracking users’ actions on a website, e.g., scrolling, zooming, and clicking buttons

, the biggest advantage of JavaScript is full compatibility with almost all existing browsers.

One of the major Javascript advantages is the full compatibility with the existing browsers. Besides, it features a simple syntax and is easy to use for any purpose. Here are some JavaScript alternatives:

CoffeeScript – it’s transcompiled into JS; it improves the readability of JavaScript and makes the code simpler and shorter. Besides, it is used with Node.js, but it isn’t a modification of JavaScript.

TypeScript – this is another language inspired by JavaScript. Its function is to enhance JavaScript capabilities – backward compatible. Any application written in TypeScript can other browsers when compiled to JS. Also, it is compatible with Node.js.

Scheme – this is a language that influenced JavaScript design. You can see similarities in lexical scoping, first-class, nested, higher-order procedures, closures/procedures rather than objects. Besides, they both feature one ubiquitous, robust data structure.

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Is C required to learn JavaScript?

C is not a requirement in learning JavaScript. JavaScript is mainly termed as a scripting language, while C is a programming language. Both languages have excellent features that appeal to different classes of individuals.  This is based on their ease of learning or applications.

In general, JavaScript is much easier to learn and used compared to C. Though it may be clunky, its significant advantage is that it is flexible, i.e., it allows you to play with around with the concept. So, if you intend to start programming, starting with JavaScript can be a better idea.

But one language can offer general knowledge in an aspect where the other language offers more profound knowledge. For instance, if you are interested in web programming, it is advisable to start with JavaScript to provide deeper insights. On this aspect, C language isn’t the best. With JavaScript, you can get started quickly, and it lets you see results immediately. Besides, you can ramp up highly complex concepts more fluidly.

The advantage of C is that you can use it for many things, especially if you want to understand how computers work. But its operation is too low for desktop and web software needs.

Must you learn C before JavaScript?

Your motives should guide you – you shouldn’t select a language to start learning. Rather, find a problem to solve. Each programming language solves a specific problem. As earlier stated, if you want to create a simple web application, learn JavaScript instead of C. For desktop apps, select HTML.

However, if you plan to be a professional programmer, starting with C can place you at a better point, giving you a deeper understanding of how programming and software works. C is a bit difficult to master if you are absolutely new to programming since it is much closer to a machine. So starting with Python, Ruby, or C# is much reasonable.

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What is JavaScript used for?

JavaScript is a powerful tool to develop interactive modern web apps to interact without reloading the page every time. This scripting language can power interactive forms, images, and carousels. Besides, it can be used with backend frameworks such as Node.js to power a web page. Commonly, developers use JavaScript to dynamically modify CSS  and HTML to update a user interface by the DOM API.

Here are JavaScript uses:

Front End Web Development

JavaScript allows developers to add dynamic features, e.g., changing texts, content, and images, which resize themselves to a website. Typically, changes to make on the front-end include using JavaScript include:

  • Displaying information with a click of a button
  • To show various tabs on a website
  • Creating a dropdown menu that activates with clicks of a button
  • Allowing zooming in and out of an image
  • Animation display on a website

Back End Web Development

JavaScript alongside Node.js  is powerful for server-side programming, i.e., to make a website work on a web server. For example, the two can be used to save form data to a database.

Mobile Apps

JavaScript can make apps for non-web contexts, thus a powerful tool for creating mobile applications. For instance, React Native is the most used JavaScript framework for creating mobile applications. It helps build mobile applications for different operating systems.

Game Development

Online games are built using JavaScript, though they are not the powerful caliber of games. There are various frameworks and libraries to create 2D and 3D games, and with engines such as Pixi.js and PhysicsJS, developers can build web games.

Server Applications

JavaScript can generate content as well as handle HTTP requests. Also, it can run on servers via Node.js. Node.js offers an environment with the necessary tools for JavaScript to run on servers.


With JavaScript, you can create presentations as a website, thanks to libraries such as RevealJs, and BespokeJs, that can build a web-based slide deck. Reveal.js, with the help of HTML, can create an interactive and beautiful slide deck.

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JavaScript examples

Practicing JavaScript examples is the best way to learn JavaScript. Whether you are getting started or you are a pro, there are always new challenges that will require you to look at various examples to see how they function. It’s true; JavaScript is a scripting language with powerful tools – you can use it to create multiple powerful platforms. Such platforms are incredibly engaging.

Let’s look at some JavaScript examples:

Printing Hello World.

There are three ways to print a ‘Hello, World’ program on your screen. This is an elementary program, and it is commonly used to introduce a new language to beginners. The three ways are:

  • console.log()
  • alert()
  • document.write()

The console.log() is commonly used in code debugging. The source code is:

First line:

// the hello world program

Second line:

console.log(‘Hello World’);


Hello, World!

The alert() method presents an alert box over the current window with a specific message.

alert(“Hello, World!”);

On the other hand, document.write() is applicable if you want to print the content to the HTML document.

document.write(‘Hello, World!’);

Remember, the first line remains the same in all three cases, i.e., “// the hello world program.”

Generating numbers

You can generate random numbers in JavaScript. However, you need the knowledge of working of:

  • JavaScript Math floor()
  • JavaScript Math random()

 The  Math.random()  function is used to generate random numbers in JavaScript by returning a random floating-point number from 0 to less than 1.

Source code:

// generating  a random numberconst k = Math.random();console.log(k);

Generated Output:


Here the variable declared is assigned a random number greater than or equal to 0 and less than 1.

But you can also generate numbers between 1 and 10

 using the same formula.

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Is Python based on C?

Python is a set of rules such as syntax rules and descriptions of standard functionality – so, we can say Python is written in English. However, developers can implement some of these programming rules in some programming languages. Precisely, Python is written in C –  its default implementation is CPython virtual machine. Most modern operating systems are created in C. This also applies to the interpreters and compilers of modern high-level languages – they are written in C, which also applies to C.

The Standard Python distribution is written in both C and Python – it is a free version downloadable from The python interpreter is written in C, while a large portion of the Python standard library is written in Python.

There are various Python implementations:

  • IronPython – this python implantation is tightly integrated with.NET; thus, offering developers the power of.NET and python libraries
  • Jython – those needing clarity and express power can try this implementation. This python implementation runs on the Java Virtual Machine. This implementation runs on Java Virtual Machine.
  • PyPy is an interpreter written in Python; however, it utilizes a unique python subset called This subset complies with C, and the program generated – C program, is compiled to PyPy interpreter. PyPy is a fast python implementation with a JIT compiler.
  • Stackless Python – this is a CPython branch supporting micro threads. Although it uses the C stack, the stack is cleared between function calls.

It’s clear; C is essential for implementing the significant versions of Python. But also, the Java virtual machine (JVM)is implemented in C.

However, it is worth noting that C and Python are different languages, especially when it comes to functionalities. Notably, Python has a more extensive library than C language, but they have a similar structured coding and execution type.


JavaScript is a scripting/programming language with a robust set of tools that allow implementing complex features on web pages. Ideally, you can use JavaScript to do more than just display static information. It can create interactive maps, create timely updates, animated 2D/3D graphics, etc.

On the other hand, C is a popular general-purpose programming language. It is known for its flexibility and simplicity. It is structure and machine-independent and has extensive application in writing operating systems such as Windows, Applications, and complex programs such as Git, Python interpreter, Oracle database,  etc.

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The common notion among programmers is that if you understand C, then it will be easier for you to use any other programming language. That means that C most other programming languages, including JavaScript, use the concept of C language. However, to use C, you must have a background in knowledge in computer memory mechanisms.

JavaScript is a standard, formally known as ECMAScript. This standard can be implemented in almost any programming language, just like other standards. JavaScript has several interpreters written in different languages, including C, JavaScript itself, and C++. So, most JavaScript implementations show behavior resulting from using pointers and byref parameter passing, primarily due to C or C++.

Because these languages intertwine, a look at one language points to another language. That means that some features always overlap. So, their uses may mesh in some aspects but not all of them. While some JavaScript implementations are written in C, the two languages are tailored to handle different roles.

C language offers a more concrete understanding of programming. So anyone aspiring to be a professional programmer might find it suitable. On the other hand, JavaScript is much easier to grasp, making it ideal for beginners. Besides, it’s great for web development, and when used together with HTML and CSS, it can create powerful web server applications.

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Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.