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Natural Language vs Formal Language

 , updated on May 14, 2017
A natural language is a language that evolved naturally amongst people such as Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi and Spanish.
A formal language is constructed to serve a purpose in the context of a science, art, profession or industry.

Natural Language vs Formal Language

Formal languages such as languages of logic, mathematics or programming typically have well defined syntax and semantics. As such, data expressed in a formal language is reasonably unambiguous.
Attempts are made to define formal rules of grammar for natural languages. However, languages change quickly and have many styles based on context such as differences between formal writing and informal speech. As such, a natural language can't be accurately reflected with a well-formed set of syntax and semantics.
Natural languages are filled with nuances, double meanings and ambiguous statements that require context and experience with a language to understand.
Natural Language vs Formal Language
Natural Language
Formal Language
Definition
A language that evolved amongst people.
A language invented to serve a purpose with well defined syntax and semantics.

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