Lausanne, (pron: loh-ZANNE) the capital of the Swiss canton of Vaud, is a medium sized city (around two thirds the size of Geneva). The city is the host to the International Olympic Committee and two major universities. It is also the transportation hub of Vaud, and a gateway to the alpine Canton of the Valais, home to some of the best known ski slopes in the world.
Lausanne is located at the most northern point of the Lake Geneva (Lac Léman). East from Lausanne along the shores of Lake Geneva, the wine-growing region Lavaux, a UNESCO world heritage site, spreads until Vevey. It is a part of the Swiss Riviera that stretches to Montreux and the eastern end of the lake. A region known as La Côte that stretches west from Lausanne until Geneva with its capital Nyon is known nowadays as the home of a big number of (English-speaking) expats working mostly in Geneva. North from Lausanne is a rural area extending until Yverdon and the Lake of Neuchâtel. Lausanne and canton Vaud are part of Suisse Romande/Romandie and thus are French-speaking. However, English is not as commonly spoken as in Geneva and less than half the population can speak English at a competent level. You will probably have trouble communicating with a commoner on the street but most service-sector employees speak a little English.