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 (

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


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