(Cross-posted to linguaphiles)
While pasting some mixed Cyrillic/Latin text into Babelfish, I noticed that it transliterated the Latin text... apparently, it treats certain Latin letters and digits as surrogates for Cyrillic letters.
Specifically, it seems to use the following correspondence (with the bold ones being particularly noteworthy):
I wonder whether this sort of transliteration scheme is common in Russian Internet use? Or is it something Altavista dreamed up by itself? (For example, is the association "5 = щ" as common in Russian as "3 = ع" in Arabic?)