It can also be used more directly as in "I am king". It's obviously not something you hear much outside of historical dramas or fantasy, unless you happen to associate with a lot of royalty.
If you've seen much Blackadder (a British sort-of historical sitcom) you might have also heard it used in the feminine form: "Who's Queen?"
I suspect the problem was my ear but I had to turn the sound off to learn the written French for a while. I hope if I visit France that they will be tolerant. I have so many many friends with heavy accents in "my" language and many other languages. one fellow we knew was insulted rightly at a job interview: "Mr. Posada, you have a very heavy accent." He characteristically stole the show by saying, "Yes, i have a very heavy accent in six languages." I always enjoy languages but realize repeating tires a person. For one of my friends, after a day of work repeating herself and suffering job/ pay issues her intelligence is above, does not seem to seek out English speakers but just talks to people on skyp in her own language despite not sharing the same issues and culture now since they all live in different countries. Wars take so many generations to recover from.
In French (and several other languages), you don't put an article between être and a profession. I suppose king is considered a profession :) http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/professions.htm
I have to say, I think this is funny. In England Yes, the customer is King is a well known phrase. However, I never thought I'd ever see this expressed in French. My experience of encountering French staff in shops,cafe's, post offices and bars, would suggest that the customer/client is the nuisance. Still, this isn't the real world, it's only so that we learn the language. :)
I thought that the word "King" can be used like a profession or a degree: "he is the king", "he IS the king of Danmark", and also "he is A king" (the way you say"he is A doctor" "he is A teacher").
I'd like to know if "the costumer is King" is just a saying (so, out of rules) or It is an exception (so, gramaticaly stablished). Thanks
You could say:
- The client / customer is A king.
However, since this is one of those times where the English matches the French exactly (using the noun as an adjective), the translation is perfect without an article. In English, this is done with official job titles: President, Head of the corporation, Secretary General, Chief, etc, whereas in French it is done with any job title, among other roles.