a VirtualTourist member
Lausanne looks like such a great place! But if I was to live there, would I need to learn French? Do many of the locals speak English? Id love to learn French anyway but not sure how easy it would be to get by with only english
Telling us your citizenship would help. There are visa issues if you are not an EU citizen. If you lived there, you would quickly pick up the language and many Swiss speak English.
You'll get more helpful answers here if you fill out the information on your Virtual Tourist Home Page like where you live and your interests. That way we can target the information to you.
Switzerland in general is quite expensive and their kind of french is also a lot different from the french in the rest of the world, mainly by intonation and also by a few words that are completely different.
I am sure you will find lots of people speaking english to you as long as they considder you a tourist. As soon as they realize you live there without speaking their language they might as well pretend not to understand you at all!
This happenes many times when french-Swiss people are in the german speaking part of Switzerland and they simply insist talking to you in french, although you told them you dont understand and then you find out that they speak excellent german as well (but not to you, only to others).