As the saying goes: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
Making personal contacts and relationships and then applying them to work in China is just as important as it is in any country. It can make or break you!
In Mandarin Chinese, we use “打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)” as a common word in our daily lives. In short, it means to “make contact with”, to introduce oneself, or to “deal with” someone. In business and in socializing, everyone needs to maneuver all kinds of situations, people and problems. Learning “打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)” can help you to master everyday Chinese.
The word “打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)” can be applied to business situations when you need to “deal with” clients and make mutually beneficial negotiations.
In English, to “deal with” something generally has a negative connotation similar to “endure” or “get over” something. However, in Chinese it has a more constructive and positive meaning.
打 (dǎ) is a verb meaning to hit/strike.
交道 (jiāodào) is a noun: dealings.
打交道 (dǎjiāodào): come into contact with; make contact with; have dealings with.
Tā hěn róngyì dǎ jiāodào.
他 很 容易 打交道.
He is easy to deal with.
Liǎng gè chǎng jīngcháng dǎ jiāodào.
两 个 厂 经常 打交道.
The two factories maintain frequent contacts.
和 (hé) + someone/something + 打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)
Often, we will add “不” in front of “和” to express the negative structure of “打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)”:
不 (bù) + 和 (hé) + someone/something + 打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)
Búyào hé nà gè rén dǎ jiāodào.
不要 和 那 个 人 打交道。
You shouldn’t have any dealings with that fellow.
Jack cóng xuéxiào bìyè shí, juédìng zài yě bú hé xuéxí dǎ jiāodào le.
杰克 从 学校 毕业 时，决定 再 也 不 和 学习 打交道 了.
When Jack graduated from school, he decided that he was done with studying once and for all.
So, before you make contacts in China with your Mandarin Chinese skills, be sure to know 打交道 (dǎ jiāodào)!
What does “交道 (jiāodào)” mean after you read the article above?