What's the point of giving us a male symbol and telling us that Freund is male friend if we're not supposed to use it?
My understand is that if I say "mein Freund", it generally is taken to mean "my boyfriend", while if I say "ein Freund von mir", it means "my (male) friend". In this case, "der Freund", is there any slant to which meaning is implied, or will context determine it?
I don't see where you get that. 'Lese' means 'To read', but 'Lernt' means 'To learn'. Happy learning!
The official translation will lead to some awkward moments. Friend in English is Kollege/Kollegin, or Bekannte in German. Freund means boyfriend, leading to people potentially thinking you're gay or engaged in polyandry, depending on your gender and prior conversations.
This is not correct. 'Freund' in German can refer both to 'friend' and 'boyfriend'. It all depends on context. Duo's translation is absolutely fine. Nothing awkward here.