This is an excerpt from the September issue of Singularity.
Here lies the short cut; many katakana texts/words are English transcriptions.
Because of that,
The trick is to leverage on your existing knowledge of English. Once you learn how to pronounce the katakana letters, just use a bit of creativity and imagination, and you can translate it to the English word equivalent. And the more languages you understand, the more likely you can translate a katakana phrase/term into a phrase/term you can understand.
And if you happen to know Chinese, then you can also make educated guesses at the Japanese kanji letters. Two thirds of the Japanese language understood! Give yourself a pat on the back.
Speaking of shortcuts, I also covered a live cutting event. With real swords! Read more in the magazine.