What is 越级挑战 in one English vocabulary form and if possible, also in idiom?

I use google translate and it give me a ridiculous answer: the leap frog challenge.

  • I don't know how to say it in the most apt English idiom, but it would be like someone who is in Minor League Baseball but tries to play in Major League (with no connotation on whether he is good at it -- but just the fact that he is crossing into the higher level). Literally the four characters mean "crossing the level" and "challenge"
    – leeyuiwah
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 22:01
  • Perhaps there isn't one English idiom that directly matches this Chinese phrase. But if you give me an example with the phrase in it, I can try translating it for you.
    – leeyuiwah
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 23:21

2 Answers 2


You should provide the context in which this was used. It can be applied to school, work, development, sports teams moving up the leagues, anything.

越级: more than 1 level, skip a grade, leapfrog 挑战: challenge

越级挑战: some kind of test or exam or challenge. If your score is good, you go up more than one level. Could be school, work, just the children's game or whatever.

Not exactly your phrase, but you can see how 'leapfrog' might be used.

The win allowed them to leapfrog three teams to gain second place.



The term 越級挑戰 (cross- division challenge) refers to a lower weight class boxer challenges a higher weight class boxer, which is not permitted in an official match. It can only happen in exhibitions.

Chinese use 越級挑戰 metaphorically to describe someone from a lower level challenge someone in the higher level. For example, a 500th ranked tennis player plays against a top ten player, or Team China facing Team Germany in The World Cup could be described as 越級挑戰.

Unlike in boxing where boxers are divided into different weight classes. A 500th ranked tennis player is technically on the same playing field with the top ten players, and Team China is technically on the same playing field with Team Germany, but we all know the gap between the higher ranked and the lower ranked ones is as wide as the gap between men and boys. Therefore, metaphorically, we can translate 越級挑戰 as " challenge the big boys" or "David challenges Goliath" in English.

I didn't say Team China cannot win against Team Germany, but if they won, their victory would be compared to David defeated Goliath for sure.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.