Ai bảo xôi ừ xôi, ai bảo thịt ừ thịt.

Someone says sticky rice he agrees to sticky rice, someone says meat he agrees to meat.

This is describing a person who only knows to follow and does not have his own opinions. This is a variant of “Quan tám cũng ừ, quan tư cũng gật / Eighth rank official seconds, fourth rank official nods,” describing how lower rank officials in the imperial court would second the opinions of the higher rank officials. This is equivalent to describing “yes man” or “sheep.”

Ác tăng đội lốt thầy tu, Thấy cô gái đẹp bỏ chùa đi theo.

Corrupt monk disguised as [religious] monk, Seeing beautiful girl and abandoning the temple to follow.

The meaning is criticizing a phony. Monks are supposed to leave behind their earthly desires. This is similar to “Wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “Devil in disguise.”

A hành ác nghiệt.

Imitating others to do evil.

The meaning is 1) criticizing someone for imitating others in doing evil, which is equivalent to “Fall in/Hang out with the wrong crowd” and “Keeping bad company” or 2) criticizing someone for treating lower rank people poorly, which is similar in concept to “Crap rolls downhill.”

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.”