Ăn dối làm thật.

Fake eat, work for real.

The meaning is praising a person who is diligent and self-sacrificing (i.e., always ready to work and not concerned about eating). This is the reverse of “Ăn thật làm dối / Eat for real, fake work.” This is equivalent to “Keeping one’s nose to the grindstone.”

Áo cũ để vận trong nhà, Áo mới để vận đi ra ngoài đường.

Old clothes to wear at home, New clothes to wear outside.

This is similar to “Tốt khoe xấu che / Show off good hide bad”.

Ai cho sen, muống một bồn, Ai từng chanh, khế sánh cùng lựu, lê.

Who plants lotus in the same pot as water spinach,
Who compares lemon and star fruit with pomegranate and pear.

The meaning is know one’s place. Lotus is dignified, whereas water spinach is common. Lemon and star fruit are not as valuable as pomegranate and pear.

Ai ơi chớ vội cười nhau, Cười người hôm trước, hôm sau người cười.

O, do not be too quick to laugh at each other, laugh at others the other day, others laugh at you the next day.

The meaning is everyone has his faults, so do not be arrogant. This is equivalent to “Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.”

Ai ơi chớ vội cười nhau, Ngắm mình cho tỏ trước sau hãy cười.

O, do not be too quick to laugh at each other, stare at oneself to show front and back then laugh.

The meaning is everyone has his faults, so do not be arrogant. Staring at the front and back means to look carefully. This is equivalent to “Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.”

Ai ơi chớ vội cười nhau, Cây nào là chẳng có sâu chạm cành.

O, do not be too quick to laugh at each other, no tree is without worms on its branch.

The meaning is everyone has his faults, so do not be arrogant. This is equivalent to “Don’t throw bricks when you live in a glass house.”