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

Hi all,

So I think it’s about that time that we started getting the German grading system really working. We have ~500 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 29/30 (~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.

So any thoughts?

Current Benchmarked Books:

Potentials (Please Review)

Current Benchmarked Movies:
[None! Please help]

Potentials (Please Review)

  • L10 (A1) - Nico’s Weg, per Negin, ‘graded’ movie, are two more that aren’t on TMDB

External Resources:


Textbooks and graded readers are the obvious ones to set at specific levels, but I just remembered this thread: Books translated into multiple languages, which might be useful.

I don’t know how many books you’re looking for, but I think these ones would be good:
Der Kleine Prinz (Mit den farbigen Zeichnungen des Verfassers) | L22??
Das magische Baumhaus (series) | L22??

There are some I think that will be useful to calibrate new languages in the future, although they haven’t been graded enough in Japanese yet, specifically:

  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Chronicles of Narnia

@bibliothecary I moved this to a new thread.

You know that’s a good call. Graded readers are definitely a good way to go for the lower levels. I’ll take a look at these and see what I think.


In addition to the above, I also took a look at the gradings.

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

I would not recommend Muttertag or Hinterholz 8 as a benchmark. Those are very Austrian movies :sweat_smile: They are definitely for advanced learners.


I haven’t read super extensively in German compared to Japanese, but if it’s helpful here are a few books I’ve read and the levels I read them at/felt they’re appropriate for. I hope this data somehow helps!

Der Alchimist: Roman. Ausgezeichnet mit dem Corine - Internationaler Buchpreis, Kategorie Belletristik 2002 detebe | L20?? - was quite easy when I read it around B1-2 level

Siddhartha. Eine indische Dichtung | L25?? - kind of like a B1.5?!

Basically any books by Sebastian Fitzek such as Das Paket, Flugangst, Passagier 23 are great to set around B2.

Momo | L22?? - Kind of a classic B2 book in my opinion. I read it around B2 in my studies and it felt like it was at my level.

Die Verwandlung | L25?? - B2 level

In terms of movies or tv shows, I unfortunately do not watch anything from the German speaking region so I’m not the one to weigh in here…:melting_face: hopefully someone else has some ideas lol.


For movies there’s Nicos Weg.
There are three movies designed by DW and graded as a1, a2 and b1. They are just like graded readers and are available for free on YT.
Sorry I haven’t watched anything else in German :sweat_smile:


Great thanks! I’ve updated my initial thread comment with those potentials and a few others I found. Everyone take a look and see what they think.

Interesting. If you’ve seen them, mind adding them to the database? :slight_smile:

I will continue to try and find some good resources / benchmarks. We do ultimately need more grades too I think. Spanish is starting to take off, but they needed around 12-14 well-graded benchmarks to get the system going. They also have around 2x as many grades as german… may just need to recruit some more folks!

Also, @mic I’ve noticed you read quite a few of these books, any thoughts? Would really help.

And there are quite a few german readers i’m seeing too that are hesitant to grade. If you are comfortable grading, I encourage you to do so, it’d make a big difference! :smiling_face:


Done! But apparently only the one for A1 is on tmdb and the other 2 are missing. A little surprised because this is a very well known series around me and an often recommended source.

I checked my German class notes from years ago and looks like my teacher had recommended Die Verwandlung for B2, and Draußen vor der Tür | L30?? (this one isn’t really well known, is it?) for B1. Though I actually never continued my classes to that level and haven’t read these two yet.

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Sorry, I read that I am not supposed to grade books in my native tongue. And on the other hand, that are books I read quite some time ago → many of them children books.


Ah, I see! Yes, we got a few native german speakers poking around :slight_smile:

I think in general it’s ok to grade a little as long as it’s very obvious (like harry potter vs shakespeare), but yeah, appreciate you not grading!

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Any case, I support B1 for „Der kleine Prinz“. It was the second book I read in French, whatever that is worth.

As a German, when I read them, I found „Die Verwandlung“ more difficult than „Die unendliche Geschichte“.

So you see there will be differences in perspective, vocab was no problem in the latter, but convoluted sentences in the first one very well.

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Ok! I went ahead and ‘set’ those gradings. If anyone hadn’t had a chance to look at those gradings and disagrees with something, please let us know!

Most importantly though, check out your gradings (if your a learner). We will now prioritize comparisons against ‘known’ items now and those are super beneficial to do.

Looking at the the top books, the most important ones to make ‘known’ either by setting as a benchmark or by more grades:

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Some Japanese books that have been translated into German. :slightly_smiling_face:


German Japanese
Kikis kleiner Lieferservice | L22?? 魔女の宅急便 | L25
Die Ladenhüterin: Roman | L25?? コンビニ人間 | L29
Kafka am Strand: Roman | L30?? 海辺のカフカ | L35
1Q84 (Buch 1, 2): Roman | L30?? 1Q84 | L35
Naokos Lächeln: Nur eine Liebesgeschichte - Roman | L30?? ノルウェイの森 | L32
Hard-boiled Wonderland und das Ende der Welt: Roman | L30?? 世界の終りとハードボイルド・ワンダーランド | L34
Die Chroniken des Aufziehvogels: Roman | L30?? ねじまき鳥クロニクル | L33
Die Ermordung des Commendatore I - Eine Idee erscheint: Roman | L30?? 騎士団長殺し | L34
Afterdark: Roman | L30?? アフターダーク | L31
Die Pilgerjahre des farblosen Herrn Tazaki: Roman | L30?? 色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年 | L32
Gefährliche Geliebte: Roman | L30?? 国境の南、太陽の西 | L31
Die Stadt und ihre ungewisse Mauer: Roman | L30?? 街とその不確かな壁 | L33
Kinos Reise 1 | L30?? キノの旅 | L29
Die Zwölf Königreiche 01. Der Schatten des Mondes / Das Meer der Schatten | L30?? 十二国記シリーズ | L33-34??
Gezeichnet Osamu Dazai | L30?? 人間失格 | L40
Geständnisse: Roman | L30?? 告白 | L33
Sanshiros Wege: Roman (Japan-Edition) | L30?? 三四郎 | L40
Kokoro. Roman | L30?? こころ | L39
Bebra Verlag Das Graskissenbuch: Roman | L30?? 草枕 | L49
Der Tor aus Tokio | L30?? 坊っちゃん | L41
Das Seidenraupenzimmer: Roman | L30?? 地球星人 | L30
Das Mondscheincafe: Der inspirierende internationale aus Japan | L30?? 満月珈琲店の星詠み | L30
Die Tage in der Buchhandlung Morisaki: Roman | Von der heilsamen Kraft des Lesens (Bücherliebe in Tokio) | L30?? 森崎書店の日々 | L32


German Japanese
Kleine Katze Chi | L17??
Detektiv Conan 01 | L24??
Jujutsu Kaisen – Band 1 | L24??
Death Note 1 | L24?? DEATH NOTE | L29
Hunter X Hunter 1: Actionreiche und mysteriöse Abenteuer auf dem Weg zur Legende | L24?? HUNTER X HUNTER | L28
Tokyo Ghoul – Band 01 | L24??
Blue Lock – Band 1 | L24?? ブルーロック | L25
Spy x Family - Band 1 | L24?? SPY×FAMILY | L30
ONE-PUNCH MAN – Band 1 | L24?? ワンパンマン | L26
Kaiju No.8 – Band 1 | L24?? 怪獣8号 | L27
Wind Breaker 01 | L24?? WIND BREAKER | L23 ハイキュー! | L25
Dragon Ball 1: Wie alles begann: Der erste Band der Kult-Mangareihe auf Deutsch und in japanischer Leserichtung 1 | L24?? DRAGON BALL | L22
Pokémon - Die ersten Abenteuer | L24??
Die Tagebücher der Apothekerin - Geheimnisse am Kaiserhof | L24?? 「マンガ」 薬屋のひとりごと | L31
I Hear The Sunspot 1: Emotionales Boys-Love-Drama über Schwerhörigkeit 1 | L24?? ひだまりが聴こえる | L22
PandoraHearts 1: Märchenhafte Action-Abenteuer voller dunkler Geheimnisse für Fantasy-Fans ab 12 Jahren 1 | L24?? Pandora Hearts | L26
Junjo Romantica 1: Die beliebte Boys-Love-Soap-Opera 1 | L24?? 純情ロマンチカ | L25
Skip Beat! | L24??
Yotsuba&! 01 | L24?? よつばと! | L17
Vampire Knight 1 1 | L24?? ヴァンパイア騎士 | L22
Black Butler | L24?? 黒執事 | L29

More books! :slightly_smiling_face:


For translated Japanese manga in Germany I would first of all go to Carlson Verlag. Btw the prizes of new books will be the same wherever in Germany you buy them, that‘s by law.