Come help the grading system! Request for Benchmark Books, Movie & TV Shows

Hi all,

So I think it’s about that time that we started getting the Spanish grading system really working. We have ~1300 gradings, amazing work everyone!

Next Step:

Now we need to choose a series of books which will serve as the ‘benchmark’ for the grading system. As an example, I always choose Harry Potter volume 1 and put it at lvl 29 (~B2). This makes it similar to the Japanese Grading system.

Once we have a series of book set at certain levels, then the grading system starts to take shape.

Current Top Needs:

  • C1/C2 level benchmark books. Should this be lvl 40 (C1/C2)? L45 (Solidly C2)?
  • We need more A1/A2/B1 books!
  • What lvl is La casa de las flores? What are good benchmark Movies & TV Shows? In general, we just need a lot more Movie & TV Shows grading :slight_smile:
Benchmark Books
Benchmark TV Shows
Benchmark Movies

External Sources:


Some additional context. I’ll try to figure out some translated material to potentially link the systems too (translated books might serve as ok benchmarks).

However, below are the most graded items so far. Are any of these items commonly recommended for a certain level? Would they serve as a good benchmark for a certain cefr / level?


Movies & TV


FWIW, Cronica seems really hard. Aura, Anne sin filtros, El silencio, La Sombra, El sobrino and La ridicula could all be good benchmarks if people have strong recommendations for any of them. Are any of those commonly recommended for certain CEFR levels?


There are some graded readers that can be used as reference for lower levels e.g Un día en… is all A1 level (amazon link) or Lola Lago series (different levels, depending on the title from A1 to B1) or the Pepa Villa, taxista en Barcelona series.

As for the novels, Reivindicacion del conde don julian is the hardest book I’ve read in Spanish and I would put it at the C2 level or beyond. Rayuela is also an experimental novel where the reader has to grasp what is going on.


I also saw someone recommending the following novels for the B1/B2 students:

Here is the full list


I set Crónica de una muerte anunciada as level 32 when I requested it, because I didn’t want to assign it a level too high over its actual level, but looking back now, it definitely isn’t an intermediate novel.

I was thinking with the TOPIK system, instead of the CEFR, so that’s why.

Edit: Nevermind, I just saw the update in levels on the main thread for Spanish.

Also, Gael y la red de mentiras could be used as a benchmark for the A2 level. I read it in middle school, and at the time, it was perfect for my class’ 3 ish years of Spanish. I’m not sure how popular it actually is though. It’s current level is also wrong, as I pointed out before.


El Alquimista | L20?? might be a good benchmark for the B1 level, as it’s commonly recommended to learners and we have several people here who have read it. I’d also recommend El Principito (Biblioteca Saint-Exupéry) | L27?? as a benchmark (though I haven’t personally read it in any language) because it’s translated into many languages and is a common book for learners.


As far as harder books go, the hardest one that I have personally read is Las malas Andanzas | L28??, though I’m not sure where exactly I’d place it… maybe C1? Several other people on Natively have also read it, so that might make it a good candidate for a benchmark.

Classics like Don Quixote and works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges might also make good benchmarks, though I’ve yet to read any in Spanish so can’t make suggestions as to their level. But those might be more likely to be assigned in classes? Doesn’t look like many current Natively users have read them though…


The problem with using Garbiel Garcia Marquez as a benchmarks is that his books can vary vastly in level. If I just go by the two I read, for example, Relato de un náufrago I managed to read with some trouble at B1-B2, but Crónica de una muerte anunciada had the native speakers and advanced learners I was reading with struggling.

(I would not recommend reading Relato de un náufrago at B1 though, not unless you already know another romance language that can help you push through all the new vocab.)

As for Don Quixote, anyone up for a Don Quixote bookclub? That way once we finish it we can all agree on its level as a benchmark.

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I would definitely be down for that. It’s almost certainly above my level, but it’s one of the reasons I’ve been wanted to pick up Spanish again anyway.

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This is really helpful, thanks! If you and / or @joreneereads or @NihongoLearner19 could do some more gradings on those novels that’d be great! Specifically, i’m curious on if they’re easier than harry potter and similar to the level of little prince.

I’m tempted to put them around lvl 23-25. Little prince is around lvl 23-25 in Japanese.

In the end, all of this won’t matter too much as the levels will work themselves out… but it’s nice to get the CEFR approximations and the initial settings somewhat in the right ballpark.

Those are helpful thanks, will probably set those too (although not many gradings done on them yet).

Set as lvl 15, great!

Yeah, i’m tempted to the little prince put the little prince around lvl 23. Is El Alquimista easier than harry potter? Similar level to little prince? Again that’s probably to @fallynleaf @NihongoLearner19 @joreneereads to answer if you’re around and know!


I agree with the alchemist being around B1. I think it and Harry Potter are about in the same level. The Little Prince is a weird one to me because I think conceptually it’s more complex so rereading it is easy but reading it for the first time for me was hard lol idk.

I’d say La casa de los espíritus is definitely not a B1 book. In English it’s a Lexile score of 1300 vs HP1 of 880. Significantly more complex writing from what I remember.

I’ll try to get to some grading tonight!


I’m not sure how ReadLang auto CEFR levels, but it put The lion the witch and the wardrobe at B1 and I’d loosely agree with that. Low B1, high A2?

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I’m not familiar with the DELE levels but I am familiar with the Japanese grading. The Narnia books seem a good benchmark, all seven books are graded as a single series on Natively. I would have thought book 2 El Leon, La Bruja y El Ropero | L27?? would be more popular than book 1 El sobrino del mago | L27??. I’m sure I saw an online bookclub for book 2 somewhere a few years ago but couldn’t find it again.

Grading them at level 26 (a little harder than seems reasonable.

Both these come up a lot when you search for books for learners so again I think are good benchmarks. I got a copy of El principito for free from Apple Books the other day, and flicking through it level 23 seems reasonable. Haven’t read El Alquimista.


Ok! I’ve set a batch of things based on these recommendations & recommendations from reddit.

Currently we have:
L29 (B2) - Harry Potter (Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal | L29)
L8 (A1) - Un día en… (Un día en... (series) | L8)
L15 (A2) - Gael (Gael (series) | L15)
L19 (A2/B1) - Magic TreeHouse (La Casa Del Arbol (series) | L19)
L24 (B1) - El Pricipito (El Principito (Biblioteca Saint-Exupéry) | L24)
L25 (B1) - El Alquimista (El Alquimista | L24)
L24 (B1) - Narnia (El sobrino del mago | L24)

A few notes:

  • I added Un dia & Magic Treehouse but they have no gradings. If any of you have read them, it’d be lovely to get some gradings there (although your grading prompt should prioritize them)
  • @joreneereads I know you said that El Alquimista was similar to Harry Potter and both around B1 level. However, after perusing reddit, people generally seem to think Harry Potter has a lot of vocab and, while doable at B1, is easier at B2. Harry Potter is always a bit of a noisy grading, since some people know the story so well.

I will continue to work and see if we can find more standard benchmarks or things we feel good about putting at a certain level. If you all have more recommendations let me know!

And we do need more TV & Movie gradings and figuring out standard benchmarks for Media too. So lots of work still to do, but we’re making progress! :slight_smile:

Edit: I will continue to update the ‘benchmarked books’ in the initial message for this topic.


Big updates for the number of benchmark books! Mostly reconciling with the reddit vocab sheet, grades and general conversation online about the books. Let me know if something seems out of whack. From the benchmark books we have been able to deduce a bunch more levels for other books… so it’s starting to come together! Right now we’re at ~35 graded unique series. I think we’ll want to get that up to ~50 or so and then it’ll start to take off on it’s own. We just need some C1/C2 level popular books :smiling_face:

In other news… @joreneereads or @NihongoLearner19, are these two books the same just different editions? One being a series with 6 half-volumes, the other being 3 full volumes?

If so, I may lock their ratings together and make it the same as harry potter, L29 (seems right with the gradings and reddit sources)

[also may clean up those titles a bit… should I reduce down to just ‘La resistencia’??]

Edit More Deduping… what about these?

Oh yeah for the first one, idk how I didn’t notice when I added it, the purple one is the first part of the first book of that series. But I’ve never seen it separated like that. It is one book called La resistencia. You can merge the ratings and tbh probably delete the purple one? I’ll be switching to the other one cuz I did not in fact only read the first third of the book :laughing: idk if other people will find that confusing or I just wasn’t paying attention

The second one is not a duplicate, two different books. The second one should just be “Lo que yo vi”

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Perfect - fixed them up!

As it seems you had already marked the other one finished, my book merging function didn’t overwrite that data, so it may say the date started is today… and you may see a duplicate activity… But all the gradings and everything else is moved over :slight_smile:

Edit: Added some ‘current top priorities’ to the first message. If anyone could chime in, it’d be a great help! :slight_smile:


I do think Coco could be low B1. There’s an online estimate that 92% of its vocab is in the top 1000 words and 97% in the top 3000, which based on otherrr estimates online puts it squarely between A2 (~1k words) and B1 (2-3k words)

The easiest native show I’ve watched is Alta Mar, idk if @nanasanchez has thoughts, but I’d say high B1, low B2 maybe?

I think La casa de papel and elite would be C1 shows but someone should confirm. I haven’t added them because I watched them very early in learning and need to rewatch, but they’re well known to be relatively difficult


Yeah, I tried Elite in 2022 I think and it was too hard for me (with Spanish subs), and I haven’t tried it again since…

Maybe I should add Bob Esponja (SpongeBob SquarePants Latin American Spanish dub), because I’ve found it pretty doable, and since it’s a series lots of people have familiarity with and is widely translated, it might be another good benchmark.


So, I’m curious, how do benchmark items work? Like, what does the grading system take into account if something is designated a benchmark?