You can tell from the audio that it isn't Freundin because she says meinen instead of meiner.
Why wouldn't "How goes it, my friends?" work?
How goes it? Is colloquial, sure, but people understand what you mean, I think.
"How are you my friends?" <-- Is this translation really wrong? Would it be correct for "Wie geht es, meine Freunde?" Thanks.
How are you, my friends = Wie geht es (euch), meine Freunde? (You are asking your friends directly)
How are my friends = Wie geht es meinen Freunden? (You are asking a third party/person about your friends)
Why is it dative and not genitive (meiner Freunden)? I thought "my friends" had the idea of possession.
"Wie geht es [Dativ.]?"
You need to replace [Dativ] by something in Dativ, this is a rule. Therefore the whole phrase that we put in (meine Freunden) needs to be in Dativ.
One can see the idea of possession only inside the phrase "my friends", but the rule couldn't care less what's inside this [Dativ.] expression. It just needs to be in Dativ, that's all. And "mein" in Dativ plural is meinen.
By the way, the phrase "my friends" (and all other possesions with pronouns) is expressed using the possesive pronoun, not the Genitiv.
Genitive pronouns are by far obsolete and no longer used - use possesive pronouns instead. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_pronouns#Personal_pronouns Use Genitiv with nouns only.
I am consistently being marked wrong for exactly the right answer. It's incredibly frustrating.
It's called n-declension: http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/nouns/weak-nouns-the-n-declension/
With regard to "meinen Freunden" and the "n" declension: would'nt it be singular, like " name" and "vorname" when declined into "namen" and "vornamen" that write as if they were plural but remain singular?
Refer to my link. Read it again. In particular: "Just to make things more complicated, certain masculine nouns are “weak” and take an “n” ending in all cases except the nominative. "
Emphasis on "ALL CASES except the nominative."
"Wie geht es" literally means "How's it going?"
Why does duolingo insist on using the least literal translation possible, even when the literal translation is also the most accurate?
The most literal and most accurate translation of "Wie geht es meinen Freunden?":
"How's it going with my friends?"