Could someone help me to understand the following sentence?

For many ethnic Mongolians, who see their language as one of the last surviving markers of their distinct cultural identity, the policy was a step too far.

Extract from the New York Times' article Curbs on Mongolian Language Teaching Prompt Large Protests in China by Amy Qin

What is the meaning of the policy was a step too far ?

1 Answer 1


The expression means the policy of suppressing the Mongolian language was an unacceptable imposition by the authorities.
The phrase "a step too far" means about the same as the expression "go too far", defined here:
Wiktionary "go too far"
(idiomatic) To exceed an unstated limit, especially a limit of acceptable behaviour.

The metaphor is a reference to walking, or taking steps. It suggests that there had been previous unfavorable steps, but this last step was one too many.

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