Zij can mean either they or she, you can always see which one it should be, by looking at the verb:
- zij spreken = they speak
- zij spreekt = she peaks
Lezen sounds like listen and could have some connection with what in anglo-saxon could mean to listen and to read!
I guess it ia not a good idea to try to compare English and Dutch by their phonetical sound. It is better just to learn the way it is, instead to find some kind of relation. The same happened me with German. You'll get used to it after a while and it will be better, believe me.
Google conjugation of Dutch verbs and it will make sense....the endings on the stems i.e kt, en etcetera are the key.
False cognate, I guessed "they speak and we listen". I shouldnt let so much time lapse between lessons!