all verbs are conjugated with different endings according to the subject:
- je lis, tu lis, il/elle/on lit, nous lisons, vous lisez, ils/elles lisent
"Je lis le journal" is correct. "Je lit le journal is not". Both sound the same when read aloud however
Could anyone tell me the difference here between the translations :
"I read the newspaper." A fact, presuming that you read it regularly. and "I am reading the newspaper." Being a present situation.
I feel like sometimes even with a context this would be hard to distinguish.
You are right, this is the difference between continuous and simple present.
Please note that in French, continuous tenses do not exist.
The single French sentence "je lis le journal" may be translated as either "I read the newspaper" or "I am reading the newspaper". Both are correct and both are accepted.