One of my friends is Irish, and he is taking it upon himself to learn how to speak Irish. He enjoys singing and is able to sing several songs in Irish. That got me thinking that I should start learning either Hindi or Sanskrit so I can sing some bhajans and aarti.
However I am not sure which language I want to learn. I know that the Vedic hymns are in Sanskrit, but from what I've heard those are more like mantras that are to be chanted rather than actual songs that are to be sung. My favorite aarti that I would love to learn to sing is 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare'. It is in Hindi. I know that the two languages are very similar, as Hindi is based off of Sanskrit and the two languages have the same writing.
I'm thinking that if I learn Sanskrit it would pretty much only be useful for the Vedic hymns. Meanwhile there are literally thousands of aarti and bhajan songs in Hindi. But then again, aren't the Vedic hymns the most sacred of all? Hindi would also help me out whenever I visit India, as Sanskrit is a dead language and is no longer spoken.
I'm not really planning on doing an in depth study of the language and becoming fluent in it, although it would be great if one day I am. I'm just looking to learn the basics so I can sing some sacred hymns. So, which language should I learn?