A programming language is a way for a human being (the programmer) to communicate with a machine (the computer) in an intermediary form that both will understand. Computers process information in binary form, which only has two characters: 0 and 1. This means that to translate even a single letter into binary code will require a series of 0s and 1s jumbled together that looks like gibberish to the average human.
This is where a programming language comes in. It uses human words and symbols in a logical and unambiguous form that a programmer can understand and a computer can easily translate into binary code without any ambiguities that would arise if we were to use a language such as English instead. In the infographic below you can see the history of a number of programming languages and how they look like.