Ăn chẳng nên đọi, nói chẳng nên lời.

Eating yet no bowls, speaking yet no words.

The meaning is criticizing someone as clumsy, stupid, uncultured or uncivilized, incompetent, and not amounting to anything. This is similar to “Thick as a brick,” “Bird brain,” and “Dumb as a rock.”

Ách giữa đàng đem quàng vào cổ.

Putting on one’s neck a yoke from the middle of the road.

The meaning is criticizing someone for inviting trouble or taking on difficulties. This is similar to “Do not borrow trouble,” “Putting one’s neck on the line,” and “Sticking your neck out.”

Ả Tạ nàng Ban

Xie Daoyun and Ban Zhao.

The meaning is describing intelligent and knowledgeable women by comparing them to Xie Daoyuan (Tạ Đạo Uẩn) and Ban Zhao (Ban Chiêu), famous female scholars. Daoyun is a famous poet, writer, scholar, and debater of the Jin Dynasty. Her brother is general Xie Xuan and her uncle is prime minister Xie An. Zhao is a historian, famous philosopher, and politician of the Han Dynasty. She completed her late brother Ban Gu’s Book of Han and wrote Lessons for Women.