Say I want to apply to a program like Comparative Literature or Classics, where it is required that during the program I will pick up at least X languages and will have to sit language exams etc. but it is not required in any way to already speak these languages at admission to the program.
Will stating that I already speak relevant language X (because it's my native language say) or have already studied language Y for two years (because I want to focus on writer A who wrote in language Y) be an advantage? And if so, how much of an advantage will this be?
I guess it is obvious that schools will care mostly about the quality of the candidate's research etc. but what role would knowing (relevant) foreign languages play here?
PS: Note that I am talking only about foreign languages relevant to the program here. So for example latin for a classics program, or german & french for a comparative literature program where someone wants to focus on precisely these languages.