"I am writing the menu."
Translation:J'écris le menu.
Pronouncing two vowels next to each in french usually feels unnatural. "je" ends in a vowel and "écris" starts with a vowel. To avoid this, a contraction is made. The final vowel of "je" is dropped.
je écris -> j'écris
Normally je is correct, but in this case it is followed by a vowel. The same goes for de.
Your frustration is legitimate and comes from the fact that your English is not perfect and your French even less.
For you, an explanation: "I am writing" is a verbal form called "continuous", meant to describe that an action is currently in progress. The basic construction is therefore: verb BE + verb at the gerund form (-ing).
Now, in French, the gerund form exists: "écrivant" (it is called 'participe présent') but it is not used as in English. In French, if you have to translate "I am writing", either you use the simple present: "j'écris", or you use an expression meaning that the action is currently in progress, which is "verb ÊTRE + en train de + verb at the infinitive form, ie : "je suis en train d'écrire".
Yes, this is indeed very hard to guess if your native language isn't a latin-derived one. In french it's a bit more complicated that in spanish (my native language), because there are more words that end with consonants than vowels (in spanish is almost a rule that sustantives that end with "a" are femenine and "o", "e" ended ones are masculine).
If you use Windows, then you can add the International English Keyboard by going into your control panel --> Region and Language (or a similar option, depending on the version of Windows). Then you can add accents by using ',`,or ^; in this case you would type ' then e and it would output é.