Grammer Questions, FFXII版

I’ve been doing these grammar posts based on whatever game I’m playing at the time, filling in some of the gaps from GENKI and とびら thanks to the help of the great folks here. Especially for questions that are a little hard to google, like colloquialisms, 関西弁 and such. If you want to play along and submit your own sentences from the game, be my guest!

Two themes this time. The first theme is Final Fantasy XII, and the second theme…「 どうにか!」


Four examples this time, from Final Fantasy XII. I noticed a pattern, that I can’t quite puzzle out the meaning of どうにか in these sentences. Jisho says the meaning is “in some way or other/somehow/barely​” but I’m either parsing these sentences wrong, or missing nuance. So, let’s dive in.

1. Context: Two people are discussing something next to a pile of trash.


They seem like scavengers maybe, but it’s hard to tell exactly what their aims are here. Is this just a way of vaguely saying “should we do something” regarding the trash?

2/3. Context: Our protagonists go to a dress shop to buy a dress. But the clerk’s dad, who makes the dresses, is out drinking the day away.


The above conversation continues. It seems the clerk has an idea to rope us into this dilemma.


From the context I’d have to guess どうにか simply means “something” here, as in “if we don’t do something / can you please do something” though I’m uneasy because the dictionary says otherwise. Am I just totally off base? How is this different from なにか?

4. Context: Inside a bar, a guy waits outside of a restroom


It seems to be a similar use to the above example, but the idea is less clear here. The clerk from before wanted us to handle the situation with their father in some way, but this guy waiting outside the bathroom doesn’t seem to have a clear motive related to us. He wants to get into the stall, but I still don’t quite get it.

Thanks all. I’m having maybe a little too much fun making these. If my incessant posting is driving anybody nuts, just let me know. Otherwise, it’s quite late so I’ll check up on this thread first thing tomorrow morning.

1 Like

どうにか has the meaning of “somehow”, but the nuance is “by any means necessary”, it’s some kind of effort involved, or some kind of low chances of success.

どうにか間に合った - somehow I made it in time
どうにかする - is kind of the same as なんとかする, meaning “to do something about …, to figure something out, to think of a way, to do whatever”

Does that clear things up a bit?




That clears things up a lot, thanks for your response! (Sorry it was a little laggy, the last week has been crazy for me). I appreciate your notes on the nuance there, that made the sentences a lot clearer for me :slight_smile:

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.