English to Binary

This is a simple online tool to convert English into binary. In actual fact, when we’re translating into binary the language doesn’t matter so long as the language uses characters that are in the ASCII standard. So as long as you input ASCII characters into the box, their binary equivalents will be output on the other side.


The term "binary" simply refers to anything that has only two parts or pieces. For example, a "binary choice" is a choice between two things. In the context of computing, binary codes are used to store information. Computer scientists often refer to the two binary symbols as on/off or true/false or 0/1. There are lots of different ways to store information, so why use binary? The answer is simply because transistors are the foundation of computation in all modern computers, and transistors have two "states". Below is a simple explanation of how a binary number is converted into a decimal number:

binary conversion explanation

When we translate English to binary, we are actually doing 2 conversions:

  1. Convert the character into it’s ASCII standard number.
  2. Convert that number into binary form.

The next section explains the conversion process in a little more detail.

A Binary Alphabet

The ASCII specification gives a unique number to every textual character on your keyboard (and dozens more). For example, the ASCII code for "a" is 97 and the ASCII code for "b" is 98. These codes are just regular numbers, nothing fancy, and so like all decimal numbers, they also have a binary representation.

For example, the number 97 in "base 2" (another name for the binary number system) is "1100001" and the binary equivalent of 98 is "1100010". I also made a decimal to binary converter which you can use to try this out with different numbers if you want.

So the ASCII number for "a" is 97, and the binary form of 97 is "1100001", so the conversion is:

"a" → "1100001"

This translator simply converts each letter to the binary form of it’s ASCII code like we have shown above. I hope that makes sense! Sorry if it’s a bit confusing.

There’s a bunch of other cool stuff you can do with the concept of binary numbers – like binary fractals!

binary fractal