Difference Between Language and Literature


Main Difference

The main difference between Language and Literature is that Language is the study or review of sounds, words, and sentences, whereas Literature is the study or review of any work written.

Language vs. Literature

Language is a set of different words and sounds; on the other hand, literature means to analyze and study written material. Language includes different signs, rules, and limitations, while literature includes everything written, which can be a symbol, a grammatical rule, or anything else.

We can study the language through literature; on the other side, the literature supports us in learning or studying the language. Language always and speedily evolves every moment, whereas the evolution of literature is comparatively slow and nebulous.


A language is a systematic statement having sounds and symbols. Literature consists of formal written novels, plays, and poetry.

Comparison Chart

Language is a system of symbols and different meanings under grammatical control.The written material is called literature. It is the study of written or composed work.
Written/ Spoken Aspects
Written as well as a spoken formWritten form
We can study the language through literature.Literature trains us about a language.
Always and speedily evolves every momentComparatively slow and nebulous

What is Language?

Language is a unique and proper system of symbols, words, and other characteristics, which is under grammatical control. Language is everything in written and spoken material. We can say that language is with us by birth. Language helps to convey our feelings and expressions to others.


Language is a breathing system for literary people. Language has two different sections of an oral and written one. The oral section of language includes everything which we speak. The written section includes everything that is in written form.

Instead of sections, language also has a set of study areas. These study areas are semantic, syntax, phonology, morphology. These sections and areas are interconnected. We study different aspects of language in each area.

We all are set apart due to language. There are several spoken and written languages all over the world, like Spanish, German, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, English, and Farsi, etc. There are also varieties of languages in these types too. All these languages sum up to form a word language.

Different people residing in different regions of the world are in contact through language. Language makes them able to share their feelings, emotions, and different informative things.

Types of Language

  • Semantics: In this type of language, we study the real meaning of language.
  • Morphology: This type of language deals with the study of conformation and configuration of words.
  • Phonology: In phonology, we study the speech sounds in a language.
  • Syntax: In syntax, we study how to form phrases and sentences by putting different words together.

What is Literature?

The study of written or composed work is known as literature. The main characteristic of literature is that it is in written form only. However, literature comes in spoken form sometimes. But when we speak about literature as a subject, then it comes only in Witten form.

Literature can also be defined as the artistic work which has high inventive importance in it. Literature is divided into further subdivisions as fiction or non-fiction. Drama, poems, novels, and short stories all are types of literature. Literature is a written, informative script created by someone who wishes to sell you something or give guidance and instructions.

Literature has different aspects of discussion in it. These aspects are nature, geographical location, modern literature, romantic period, politics, etc. Literature is a creative and innovative thing. This property is seen less in non-fiction literature. In a sense, literature deals with philosophy. E.G., Salma readout several books of English literature.

Sometimes, literature performs as high and superior quality artistic work, which contains innovations and knowledge in it. With the help of literature, we can deeply examine a language. Literature is the compact form of language which involves creative work in it.

Types of Literature

  • Romantic Literature: Romantic literature studies the romance and feelings.
  • Fiction Literature: Fiction literature studies imaginary things far from reality.
  • Non-fiction Literature: Non-fiction literature deals with the study and involvement of reality-based things.

Key Differences

  1. The evolution rate in the language is very fast, whereas the evolution rate in literature is slow.
  2. Language is both in written and spoken form; on the other hand, literature is in written form only.
  3. Language is first to be originated; conversely, literature only exists with language.
  4. Language is a system of symbols and meanings that follows grammatical rules; on the flip side, literature is artistic work.
  5. Language is more technical on the flip side; literature is less technical.
  6. Language studies rules and figures of sentences, whereas literature studies the work and style of different writers.


Both language and literature are part of the language, having similarities as well as some valuable differences between them.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson