<Moving from FMA Anime American Audience sub-forum to FMA Anime Japanese Audience sub-forum where all dub/sub threads are being collected currently. 02/21/07 ~Tombow>
I've been seeing alot of talk over why Martel is named Marta in the English dubbing of FMA. I do have a theory on this based on previous series and the Japanese language when it grasps foreign words.
First off, as we all know, in Japan the english letters "L" and "R" often get mixed around so from this we get Martel being Marter depending on who says/ spells it out. Now this by itself would not lead Martel to being changed to Marta in the English Version.
To explain this change one needs to look at the live action Gneration Kikaider series. Here is where the interesting thing happens. Many of you may not know this but this live action series did air subtitled in Hawaii. However due to certain spellings of it they went an alternate name, Generation Kikaida (as seen here). This is another part of Japanese language translation issues on the part of translating to English. The ending part "-er" is crossed with "-a" and thus leading Marter becoming MARTA.
This can explain what happened. Of course with the Manga it may be different, (as is the case with Ishvar/Ishbal) but that will be another day.