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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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!

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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:

1 Like