Mastering Malay will take from you 36 hours or 900 weeks in a class according to FSI. Difficulty category for mastering it is evaluated - point.
Learning Lao might seem like a overwhelming thing to do. FSI has concluded that it takes 1100 hours or 44 weeks in a class to learn the language. The difficulty point is 2.
You will most likely find people, who speaks Malay in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and East Timor, Parts of Thailand.
Number of native speakers is about 77,000,000.
Number of fluent speakers is about 300,000,000. The biggest country in which Malay is used as a native language is Malaysia.
Native speakers of Lao are mostly from Laos and are about 3,000,000 people.
Lao are spoken fluently by 3,200,000 people.
The language is spoken in Laos, Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Thailand, and USA..
Malay came from Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family.
Tai-Kadai language family is the origin of Lao language.