How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
You can get by without Lao, but life will definitely be easier if you can speak a little. You should not assume that people will be able to speak English. - Jun 2020
It's helpful, perhaps even very helpful, to have the local language, but it's not absolutely necessary. There are classes/tutors, but the language is challenging to learn. - Oct 2018
Learn it. It's difficult, especially with all the tones, but the Lao are so sweet and forgiving of your mistakes as you try to speak to them in their language. Many shop owners know enough English. Hand gestures can get you pretty far,too. - Jan 2014