Google translate translates "好高骛远" into ambitious. I was wondering if you agree with that? I don't think ambitious carries the meaning of lacking capability.
From Bai Du Zhi Dao:
好高骛远 (Hào gāo wù yuǎn) means:
To break down the phrase: 好高骛远
好 (Hào- 4th tone = likes/wants), so... 好高 (Hào gāo): likes/wants (things that are) high
骛 (wù): Greedy
远 (yuǎn): Far, Distant (So, 骛远 = over ambitious/over greedy)
To break that guy's response down:
不切实际 (bù qiè shíjì): Phrase to indicate impracticality of something
地 (dì): usually means "ground"... but here it follows an adverb. For example, 他慢慢地走过去 (he slowly walked over there). So, 慢慢 would be modifying the verb 追求 (zhuī qiú), so you use 地 (dì) between the adverb and the verb。 Like he "impractically pursued x": 他不切实际*地*追求x
追求 (zhuī qiú): to pursue something stubbornly.
过高过远 (guò gāo guò yuǎn): 过 just means "pass over, too much, pass": so 过高 and 过远 just means too high and too far.
目标 (mùbiāo): Goal
"好" has two pronunciation.
好(hǎo) is an adjective or an adverb, which means "good", "well", "queit" or "very".
好(hào) is a verb, which means "like to do something".
好高 should be read as "hào gāo", so it means "like to be high" literally, similar to "aim high" in English, but in a derogatory way.
骛(wù) stands for "seek" or "look for".
远 stands for "far away".
鹜远 stands for "seek something far away" ("far away" means that it is impossible, so the unspoken word is that it is stupid to aim so high )
好高骛远 is a derogatory idiom, which means "ambitious in an arrogant way".
I think, 好高骛远 means: reach for what is beyond one's grasp
Here is some example translate:
I'm not prone to extravagant fancies.
A high flier may have an impossible hope for the future.
Hew not too high lest the chips fall in thine eye.
People should be down-to-earth, instead of being over-ambitious.
Tom has taken five courses this semester, including French. I think he is bitting offchew. 汤姆这个学期选修了五门课, 还包括法语, 我想他是有些好高骛远了.
==== I think "over-ambitious" will do the trick. Google is kinda right.