"Мы служим королю!"
Translation:We serve the king!
23 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
He is the king = Он король - nominative case
There is no king in this castle = В этом замке нет короля - genitive
We serve the king=Мы служим королю - dative
We see the king=Мы видим короля - accusative
We are familiar with the king=Мы знакомы с королём - instrumental
We talked about the king=Мы говорили о короле - prepositional
For English speakers it is about finding the right preposition. The dative case in Russian implies the English preposition "to". Although the Russian speaker thinks "I serve to the king", the English speaker does not. In fact, it is poor English because 'serve' is not a prepositional verb (i.e., a verb that requires a preposition). Although "I serve the king" is a correct translation of the Russian "Я служу королю", it trips up the English speaker because in the English version "the king" is in the accusative case, and not dative. Служить is one of those Russian words that takes the dative case, that is, it has the word "to" already built into it. The comment above about translating "служит" as "to provide service" is brilliant, because it is a prepositional verb construction that leads the English speaker to "I provide service to the king", which then translates to the correct Russian construction in the dative case. Вот так!
It is a subtle topic. King (an European monarch) is never translated as царь. But if you are talking about ancient kings, e.g. the ones mentioned un the Bible, the translation царь is the right one. Russian language has a lot of specific terms for similar social roles in different places and times. Not everyone knows all of them, of course. But король vs царь is a common knowledge, of course.