How to use the left function for text variables?

So I was trying to use the left() function for text data types, which is supposed to return a string, but it instead keeps returning an integer. Is there anything wrong with my code or am I misinterpreting this function (https://docs.appian.com/suite/help/19.2/fnc_text_left.html)?

a!localVariables(
  
  local!locationJson: rule!Geo_getLongLat(), /*returns json*/
  
  local!textCoordinates: local!locationJson.result.body.loc  /*returns text*/
    
  left(local!textCoordinates,3)

)

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